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Valuation and reporting of native fauna in monetary terms: compatibility between a market-Based system and natural resources?

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posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by A Purnell, Grace Raar, Phillip Hone
A change in community values and priorities has introduced ethical,
environmental and social issues into the way in which business conducts
its activities. There are an increasing number of managed investment funds focusing on socially responsible investment (SRI) by concentrating on firms that operate according to predetermined criteria for environmental, social and ethical issues. For investors in these funds environmental stewardship issues are integrated with concern over financial resources and performance. In this paper the accounting and reporting by business activities concerned with conservation of wildlife are examined. The world of accounting has functioned for many years with relatively few accounting standards devoted to specialised industry needs. In 1998 the Australian Accounting Standards Board and in 2001 the International Accounting Standards Board issued standards devoted to agriculture. Both standards deal with the reporting of managed biological assets and require application of essentially the same approaches despite the Australian standard requiring net market value while the International standard requires fair value. In this paper we analyse how one conservation firm Earth Sanctuaries Ltd. (ESL) has applied AASB 1037 and then we explore the implications for conservation firms operating in geographical locations outside Australia. It is suggested that AASB 1037 and indeed lAS 41 may not provide value appropriate information for investor decisions relating to accounting profits for such firms. Our examination shows that it is appropriate to reconsider accounting guidelines provided by these standards in order to link the information relating to economic and environmental performance. Transparency may be improved by a move closer to Elkington 's (1997) triple bottom line reporting. We therefore contend that the issues arising from the use ofAASB 1037 and lAS 41 need to be widely considered by all standard setters, particularly given the increasing attention to SRI.

History

Title of book

Social responsibility: corporate governance issues

Series

Research in international business and finance ; v. 17

Chapter number

8

Pagination

173 - 198

Publisher

JAI

Place of publication

Amsterdam, Netherlands

ISBN-13

9780762310258

ISBN-10

0762310251

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2003, Elsevier Science Ltd.

Extent

21

Editor/Contributor(s)

J Batten, T Fetherston

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