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Estimating the value of ecosystem services in a mixed-use watershed: A choice experiment approach

Pasicha Chaikaew, Alan W. Hodges and Sabine Grunwald

Ecosystem Services, 2017, vol. 23, issue C, 228-237

Abstract: The protection of water, land, and air resources has profound implications for the sustainability of ecosystem services provided to societies that are embedded within economies, global systems, and socio-cultural and political contexts. This study assessed preferences for provisioning, regulating, and supporting ecosystem services, specifically, climate regulation (carbon sequestration), nutrient control (water quality), and agricultural and forest productivity, and the willingness to pay for protection of these ecosystem services by residents in the Suwannee River Basin of Florida, as assessed through a household mail survey and choice experiment. A conditional logit model was used to evaluate preferences and marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) under different scenarios. Survey respondents identified nutrient control (water quality) as the most important service, while agricultural and forestry production was somewhat important, and climate regulation/carbon sequestration was the least important. Respondents expressed the highest level of trust in local government agencies to implement ecosystem service protection programs, and welcomed the implementation of such programs anywhere in the basin, but not close to their home. The average MWTP was extremely low (<$2/household/year) when compared to other studies, and suggests that respondents have many competing interests for their discretionary spending in relation to environmental amenities.

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Choice experiments; Willingness to pay; Preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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