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Demand-side factors in optimal land conservation choice

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  • Ando, Amy W.
  • Shah, Payal

Abstract

The dominant paradigm of conservation-reserve planning in economics is to optimize the provision of physical conservation benefits given a budget constraint, implicitly assuming the value of biodiversity and ecosystem function is not affected by human proximity to that natural capital. There is evidence, however, that human willingness to pay (WTP) for conservation declines with distance--a phenomenon we call "spatial value decay". This paper begins a new strand of the conservation planning literature that takes demand-side factors - location of people in the landscape, the degree to which WTP for conservation depends on proximity - into account. We use theoretical models of linear abstract landscapes to explore the impact of demand-side factors on two facets of conservation choices: siting of a single reserve when conservation potential is greatest near a critical site, and siting of multiple reserves when fragmentation reduces physical conservation services produced. Our results show how planners should sometimes employ increased fragmentation to capture value when people's preferences are not very highly localized, and how optimal policy balances proximity to the ecologically critical site with proximity to people. In some scenarios, the payoff to using a reserve design approach that considers demand-side factors is large, but we find that spatial value decay reduces the benefits that can be gained from any conservation-planning approach.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 203-221

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Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:32:y:2010:i:2:p:203-221

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

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Keywords: Conservation Species Habitat Optimal reserve-site selection Spatial Demand-side;

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References

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  1. Hannon, Bruce, 1994. "Sense of place: geographic discounting by people, animals and plants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 157-174, July.
  2. Ando, Amy, 1999. "Economies of Scope in Endangered-Species Protection: Evidence from Interest-Group Behavior," Discussion Papers dp-97-44-rev, Resources For the Future.
  3. Philip McCann, 2005. "Transport costs and new economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 305-318, June.
  4. Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F. & Gramig, Benjamin M., 2008. "Wildlife conservation payments to address habitat fragmentation and disease risks," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 415-439, June.
  5. Matthew J. Kotchen & Shawn M. Powers, 2004. "Explaining The Appearance and Success of Voter Referenda For Open-Space Conservation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. Ronald J. Sutherland & Richard G. Walsh, 1985. "Effect of Distance on the Preservation Value of Water Quality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(3), pages 281-291.
  7. Nelson, Erik & Uwasu, Michinori & Polasky, Stephen, 2007. "Voting on open space: What explains the appearance and support of municipal-level open space conservation referenda in the United States?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 580-593, May.
  8. Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2004. "Dynamic reserve site selection," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 157-174, June.
  9. Albers, Heidi J. & Ando, Amy W. & Chen, Xiaoxuan, 2008. "Spatial-econometric analysis of attraction and repulsion of private conservation by public reserves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 33-49, July.
  10. Onal, Hayri & Yanprechaset, Pornchanok, 2007. "Site accessibility and prioritization of nature reserves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 763-773, February.
  11. John B. Loomis, 2000. "Vertically Summing Public Good Demand Curves: An Empirical Comparison of Economic versus Political Jurisdictions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 312-321.
  12. Pate, Jennifer & Loomis, John, 1997. "The effect of distance on willingness to pay values: a case study of wetlands and salmon in California," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 199-207, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bamiere, Laure & David, Maia & Vermont, Bruno, 2011. "Agri-Environmental Policies When the Spatial Pattern of Biodiversity Reserves Matters," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114239, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Katharine Sims, 2014. "Do Protected Areas Reduce Forest Fragmentation? A Microlandscapes Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(2), pages 303-333, June.
  3. Abildtrup, Jens & Garcia, Serge & Olsen, Soren Boye & Stenger, Anne, 2011. "Spatial Preference Heterogeneity in Forest Recreation," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 120386, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Maarten Punt & Hans-Peter Weikard & Ekko Ierland & Jan Stel, 2012. "Large Scale Marine Protected Areas for Biodiversity Conservation Along a Linear Gradient: Cooperation, Strategic Behavior or Conservation Autarky?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(2), pages 203-228, October.

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