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Trading off environmental goods for compensations: Insights from traditional and deliberative valuation methods in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Lorraine Balaine, Nicola Gallai, Jean-Pierre Del Corso and Charilaos Kephaliacos

Ecosystem Services, 2020, vol. 43, issue C

Abstract: Deliberative approaches to ecosystem services valuation have grown in popularity. However, more research is needed to widen current uses, to examine to which applications these methods are most suited, and to standardize them. This study jointly implements individual non-deliberated and group deliberated Choice Experiments and investigates trade-offs between environmental degradation and compensations made by local populations of the Ecuadorian Amazon. In oil-producing areas, compensatory schemes through improved access to public services and money are a common and legalized practice. The research specifically examines preferences towards environmental quality, public services and money of peasant-settlers and indigenous people. It also explores the question of whether deliberation adds to traditional valuation methods. The results from both methods reveal significant preference heterogeneity, best described through three profiles of people: the “conservationists†, the “bargainers†and the “takers†, with substitutability of environmental goods ranging from not at all to somewhat to high, respectively. Deliberation also proves to be a valuable addition to the experimental design as it points out value incommensurability related to the drinkable water attribute. Policy implications and channels to improve the methods are then discussed.

Keywords: Choice experiment; Deliberative valuation; Oil exploitation; Environmental degradation; Compensatory schemes; Ecuadorian Amazon (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101110

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