There is a growing community awareness and concern over the extent of physical degradation of rangeland resources. However, the existence of physical degradation does not necessarily provide a compelling economic argument for either private landholders or government taking measures to restore the physical productivity of rangeland resources. To establish the existence of an economic or social problem requires detailed knowledge of the costs and benefits of preventing degradation and of restoring degraded rangelands. Unfortunately, assessments of the potential economic benefit that might accrue to specific rangeland restoration technologies are relatively scarce, of variable quality, and almost invariably useless for purposes of comparison with alternative technologies. The paper presents a cost- benefit framework for the examination of the potential economic merit of private investments in rangelands resource restoration. It is believed that adoption of this framework by rangeland research scientists and resource economists would provide a greater consistency of approach and provide for more accurate assessments of rangeland restoration investments than has been evident to date. The framework is applied to two specific rangeland restoration techniques. Issues that are relevant to extending the framework to the social investment level are then canvassed.
PRINCIPLES FOR ASSESSING THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF RANGELAND RESTORATION PROJECTS
Australian Rangeland Society
6TH Australian Rangeland Society Conference