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To restore or not? A valuation of social and ecological functions of the Marais des Baux wetland in Southern France

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  • Westerberg, Vanja Holmquist
  • Lifran, Robert
  • Olsen, Søren Bøye

Abstract

The Marais des Baux wetland in southern France has for centuries been subject to drainage, almost causing its entire disappearance. With an increasing awareness of wetland ecosystem services, the extensive drainage is being questioned today. To guide policy-makers and landowners in their decision-making, we use a Choice Experiment to elicit the preferences of the general public for potential land use and activity changes in the Marais des Baux. These changes concern wetland restoration, the extent of tree hedges, recreational opportunities, mosquito control and biodiversity. Using a random parameter logit model, we take account of unobserved and observed preference heterogeneity, revealing that demand for a high level of biodiversity is conditional on respondents expressing a high level of environmental concern, and that parenthood raises the WTP for any future management alternative different from the current situation. Further, we find that mosquito control or attachment to the area is essential for support of large-scale wetland restoration. From the perspective of maximising the compensating surplus, the recommendation is to restore the wetland to one third of its original size in conjunction with biological control of mosquitoes, more tree hedgerows and recreational facilities, while increasing efforts to induce higher levels of biodiversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 2383-2393

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2383-2393

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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Keywords: Wetlands Valuation Choice Experiment Random parameter logit model Interactions Willingness-To-Pay Marais des Baux;

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Cited by:
  1. Marva Stithou & Yiannis Kountouris & Phoebe Koundouri, . "A Choice Experiments Application in Transport Infrastructure: A case study on travel time savings, accidents and pollution reduction," DEOS Working Papers 1116, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  2. Bénédicte Rulleau & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu, 2012. "An overview of the landscape valuation studies conducted in France," Working Papers hal-00671540, HAL.
  3. Hoyos Ramos, David & Mariel Chladkova, Petr & De Ayala Bilbao, Amaya, . "Landscape valuation through discrete choice experiments: Current practice and future research reflections," BILTOKI 2012-03, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
  4. Rousseau, Sandra & Vranken, Liesbet, 2013. "Green market expansion by reducing information asymmetries: Evidence for labeled organic food products," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 31-43.
  5. Crastes, Romain & Beaumais, Olivier & Arkoun, Ouerdia & Laroutis, Dimitri & Mahieu, Pierre-Alexandre & Rulleau, Bénédicte & Hassani-Taibi, Salima & Barbu, Vladimir Stefan & Gaillard, David, 2014. "Erosive runoff events in the European Union: Using discrete choice experiment to assess the benefits of integrated management policies when preferences are heterogeneous," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 105-112.
  6. Mombo, Felister & Lusambo, Leopold & Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Munishi, Pantaleo & van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2014. "Scope for introducing payments for ecosystem services as a strategy to reduce deforestation in the Kilombero wetlands catchment area," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 81-89.
  7. Tomás del Barrio Casto & William Nilsson & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo, 2013. "How wrong can you be, without noticing? Further evidence on speci cation errors in the Conditional Logit," Working Papers 1318, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.

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