The stock of the world's biological diversity and the state of its ecosystems are major determinants of the availability of commodities, both essential and desirable, for human life. This leading-edge study provides an overarching and balanced approach to the economics of biological conservation; considering man made and natural components, and their interdependence.Recognising the deficiencies of many contemporary studies, which focus almost entirely on natural capital, Clement Tisdell utilizes the concept of heritage biological capital, including germplasm, as part of his analysis of changes in the stock of biological capital. This comprehensive synthesis casts doubt upon some propositions and policies for resource conservation recommended by eminent ecologists in areas such as GM crops and livestock husbandry as well as agroecosystems and the concept of sustainable agricultural intensification. The propositions presented are lent strength by the author's decision to relate his analysis to pertinent contemporary institutional developments and scientific advances. The broad scope and rational scepticism with which this book has been compiled make it an ideal read for economists interested in ecological and environmental economics, natural scientists with an interest in biodiversity conservation and higher level policy makers in ecological and environmental fields.