On Valuing Nature-Based
Solutions to Climate Change:
A Framework with Application to Elephants and Whales
We develop a framework for natural resource valuation that directly addresses the fundamental collective action problem in environmental protection. Our framework uses the lessons of behavioral economics to create values that individual decision makers find credible and relatable, in addition to stimulating excitement or concern that is essential to prompting action.
We then apply this framework to value forest elephants in Africa and great whales that
are found off the coasts of Brazil and Chile. The values we estimate for individual members of
these species are significant: $1.75 million per forest elephant and an average of $2 million per
whale. We discuss how our valuations lead to new designs for environmental preservation and