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Citizens' preferences for research programs on forest genetic resources: A case applied to Pinus pinaster Ait. in Spain

Mario Soliño (), R. Alía and D. Agúndez

Forest Policy and Economics, 2020, vol. 118, issue C

Abstract: Research on operational programs for the conservation and improvement of forest genetic resources is associated with use and non-use values, given that such research not only generates new knowledge but also incorporates both commercial benefits and benefits related to the conservation of genetic material for reproduction. This article applies a discrete choice experiment that allows analyzing the preferences of Spanish society for operational programs for the breeding and conservation of P. pinaster. Such programs are financed mainly by public research funds, and it would be advisable to include citizens' preferences regarding programs for the conservation and improvement of forest genetic resources. The analysis quantifies the trade-offs between the various characteristics of the program, such as production improvements, biotic and abiotic risks, genetic diversity, and the biodiversity of pine forests. The results show that society is willing to pay for research in these directions, above all research on greater resistance to biotic risks. Likewise, the study shows how research on transgenic forest resources is not socially accepted, thus adding to the arguments in favor of the current prohibition in Spain on marketing this type of forest reproductive material. Finally, considering the current R&D budget and the average tax collection in Spain, the WTP seems to be biased upwards. In this sense, an analysis of individual's response time as a proxy of carelessness was performed.

Keywords: Abiotic risk; Biotic risk; Biodiversity; Carelessness; Discrete choice experiment; Economics; Genetic diversity; Resin; Response time; Wood (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2020.102255

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