Keywords: cost-, benefit analysis, cost-, effectiveness, environmental management, environmental valuation, socio-, economic factors, environmental policy
Reconciling different approaches to environmental management
Environmental management is often regarded as the domain of the natural scientist with decision criteria developed within strict methodological boundaries. The argument is put forward that economic criteria have tried to emulate scientific methodology to the exclusion of important socio-economic factors. Concern over the monetary valuation of the environment has lead to calls for cost-effectiveness as the safe alternative. However, this approach is shown to be no different from cost-benefit analysis in its conception of value and therefore an inadequate response to the concerns driving the original criticism of environmental economics. Both socio-economic and scientific perspectives are necessary in the formulation of environmental policy. This then requires individual researchers to be open-minded in their work, rather than relying on institutional groupings of mono-disciplinary individuals to carry the responsibility for interdisciplinary research.