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Employing contingent and inferred valuation methods to evaluate the conservation of olive groves and associated ecosystem services in Andalusia (Spain)

M. Torres-Miralles, I. Grammatikopoulou and A.J. Rescia

Ecosystem Services, 2017, vol. 26, issue PA, 258-269

Abstract: The present study explores how people perceive the conservation of an olive agro-ecosystem within a natural reserve, in Andalusia (southern Spain). Using the contingent and the inferred valuation methods, we performed a field survey to identify the socio-economic factors that affect willingness to pay for conservation of the olive groves, and to specify the priority people give to ecosystem services. Results showed that respondents who gave a high score to cultural and regulating ecosystem services were more likely to pay for a conservation plan. This would indicate that factors linked to the historic presence and ecological functionality of the olive groves prevail over their economic aspect in respondents’ willingness to pay. Willingness to pay is found to be positively correlated to appreciation of ecosystem services. The contingent method revealed that mean willingness to pay ranges from 31 to 43€/year/respondent, whereas the inferred method pointed to a slightly higher range of willingness to pay, from 37€ to 44€/year/respondent. Different alternative policies (for example, payment for ecosystem services) should be considered according to the outcome of our study within a sustainable management plan to attenuate the trends of intensification or abandonment of olive groves and to ensure rural development in the region.

Keywords: Agricultural landscape; Economic valuation; Protected area; Social perception; Sustainable management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:26:y:2017:i:pa:p:258-269