International concern over the threat to species and ecosystems caused by human activities is at an all time high, which may result in high costs to present and future generations. The economic costs and benefits associated with the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources of actual or potential value for food and agriculture is largely unknown. Economic instruments that can encourage implementation of socially optimal genetic resource conservation strategies as well as the sharing of the real benefits and costs are a useful measurement tool. This book is an edited compilation of papers from the Symposium on the Economics of Valuation and Conservation of Genetic Resources for Agriculture held in Rome in May 1996. It addresses some of the key issues involved in the estimation of the economic value of conserving genetic resources for agriculture. It covers the modelling of the value of Plant Genetic Resources (PGRs), empirical studies of PGRs (including field diversity and yield vulnerability), seven empirical studies of PGR breeding values, property rights in PGRs and the implications of modern biotechnology methods for PGR values. The book will be essential reading for workers in agricultural economics, plant breeding and genetics, and biodiversity and conservation.