Recently, LBS PhD student Pedro Flores won the 2016 AARES-NZARES Heading West Award. For this award, Pedro travelled to the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in Nelson, New Zealand, where he presented his winning paper on Economics of Biodiversity Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon. The abstract of the winning paper, “Including the maintenance of ecosystem resilience of an old-growth forest as a choice for natural carbon sequestration funding. An ecological-economic approach”, can be found below.

La Trobe Business School would like to congratulate Pedro on his success!


Australia is one of the first countries to prepare long-term pathways studies to decarbonize its economy. Peru is a megadiverse country with the second extension of forests in the Amazon basin. The design of efficient public policies for these territories is challenging due the fragility of public institutions and lack of economic valuation of important ecosystem services provided from old-growth forests.

This paper presents an ecological-economic model for a key non-timber forest product of the Peruvian Amazon basin: the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and analyses the bioeconomic dimensions of two ecosystem services: pollination and the forest cover to provide habitat for flora and fauna. Could the investment in natural carbon sequestration in the Amazon be the best economic option for developed countries as Australia or New Zealand to mitigate the effects of climate change instead of man-made carbon sequestration strategies? We discuss the implications of this choice from the ecological-economics perspective.