Valuing a Natura 2000 network site to inform land use options using a discrete choice experiment: An illustration from the Basque Country
Hoyos Ramos, David
Mariel Chladkova, Petr
Etxano Gandariasbeitia, Iker
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Journal of Forest Economics 18 : 329–344 (2012)
One of the main problems that public institutions face in the management of protected areas, such as the European Natura 2000 network, is determining how to design and implement sustainable management plans that account for the wide range of marketed and non-marketed benefits they provide to society. This paper presents an application of a stated preference valuation approach aimed at evaluating the social preferences of the population of the Basque Country, Spain, for the key attributes of a regional Natura 2000 network site. According to our results, individuals’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) is higher for attributes associated with non-use values (native tree species and biodiversity conservation) than for attributes associated with use values (agricultural development and commercial forestry). The paper concludes that management policies related to Natura 2000 network sites should account for both for the importance of non-use values and the heterogeneity of the population's preferences in order to minimize potential land use conflicts.