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Non-market values of forest biodiversity and the impact of informing the general public: Insights from generalized multinomial logit estimations

Tina Rambonilaza and Elodie Brahic

Environmental Science & Policy, 2016, vol. 64, issue C, 93-100

Abstract: Apart from the ethical argument around trade-off that individuals have to make between monetary and non-monetary value, application of stated preference method was exposed to another criticism related to the complexity of biodiversity issue and the capacity of the general public to provide accurate responses to willingness to pay elicitation survey. This paper tests how providing information about the ecological processes underlying forest management scenarios affects public preferences and their valuation of biodiversity in publicly owned forest land in France. The generalized multinomial logit models applied to choice experiment data suggests that all respondents adopt the same heuristics based on easily visible aspects of forest landscape, to reveal their use and nonuse values of biodiversity. However, when they receive additional ecological information, only those who are familiar with the biodiversity concept, have awareness of issues at stake, and have a regular use of forest tend to attach higher values to less known biodiversity component (fallen deadwood in this case). The paper concludes that “mass media campaign” has to be completed by environmental literacy programs, to improve people’s awareness and understanding of what biodiversity means from ecological functioning, then making economic valuation a useful tool from a conservation perspective.

Keywords: Public forest; Non-use values; Choice experiment; France (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.06.008

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