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Farmer perceptions of wetlands and waterbodies: Using social metrics as an alternative to ecosystem service valuation

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  • Greenland-Smith, Simon
  • Brazner, John
  • Sherren, Kate

Abstract

The ecosystem goods and services (EGS) model is implicit in many conservation schemes, including agricultural extension programmes with the aim of conserving and protecting wetlands and waterbodies. The design of such programmes requires an understanding of how farmers perceive these features, their associated cost and benefits. Very little research has sought to do this. Employing unstructured interviews with 18 farmers and using ponds and two wetland types on their Nova Scotia farms as in situ visual prompts, we determine which wetland- and pond-related services are recognized by, and most important to, farmers. We see that wetlands and ponds are not valued equally, and that farmers consider ‘farm ponds’ most valuable in EGS terms. We also see seasonal variation in farmer perceptions and recommend multiple-visit elicitation accordingly to establish robust understanding. We analyse our results in the broader context of EGS literature and make comparisons to economic valuations of similar wetlands and ponds from the TEEB database. The implications of this study for effectively integrating extant EGS frameworks with agricultural extension programmes are discussed. Possibilities for improved wetland and waterbody conservation in the agricultural landscape are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Greenland-Smith, Simon & Brazner, John & Sherren, Kate, 2016. "Farmer perceptions of wetlands and waterbodies: Using social metrics as an alternative to ecosystem service valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 58-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:126:y:2016:i:c:p:58-69
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.04.002
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    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:31:y:2018:i:pa:p:12-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Siciliano, Giuseppina & Urban, Frauke, 2017. "Equity-based Natural Resource Allocation for Infrastructure Development: Evidence From Large Hydropower Dams in Africa and Asia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 130-139.

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