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Contributing to healthy forests: Social preferences for pest and disease mitigation programs in Spain

Mario Soliño and Rosa Raposo

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 140, issue C

Abstract: In a scenario of global change, with increasing temperatures and extreme climatic events, healthy forests are at risk. Forests have to fight several types of biotic and abiotic stress. Prospective scenarios warn of the negative effects that forests will suffer in upcoming decades (drought, fires, pests, diseases, etc.), consequently making it necessary to implement actions that can not only prevent the attack of biotic agents such as fungi and insects but also improve the resilience of forest systems. Such warning scenarios transcend the scientific sphere, and as such, Spanish society has previously expressed considerable concern about the appearance of pests and diseases caused by biotic agents. This article therefore analyzes the social preferences for pest and disease mitigation programs in Spanish forests. A discrete choice experiment was consequently carried out, and the willingness to pay was estimated for various characteristics of mitigation programs. The results show that society positively values these programs, mainly when they are applied in relatively nearby forests, when they are targeted at mixed forests, and when there is low uncertainty about their effectiveness. Conversely, the self-management of subsidies by forest owners is rejected, with a preference for funds being managed by regional public authorities.

Keywords: Biological control; Discrete choice experiment; Fungi; Genetic programs; Landowners; Mixed forests; Mixed logit; Uncertainty; Willingness to pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102754

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