The economics of international agreements for the protection of environmental and agricultural resources

The economics of international agreements for the protection of environmental and agricultural resources

The purpose of this paper is to review the economics of international environmental agreements (IEAs) and draw Implications for the international issues that are relevant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Three chapters follow this introduction. The first of these reviews a number of IEAs that are already in force or are being actively negotiated and have relevance for food and agriculture while the second presents the theory of IEAs, focusing on how countries can agree to cooperate and sustain cooperation despite free rider incentives. Two kinds of problems are considered: the case of a reciprocal externality, such as the management of climate change or plant protection, and the conservation of biological diversity, which has elements of both unidirectional and reciprocal externalities. The final chapter returns to where the paper began, commenting on the ability of IEAs to improve upon the non-cooperative outcome. [author's abstract]

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