Valuing changes in forest biodiversity
The paper attempts to improve current understanding of the economic value of biodiversity. Instead of the prevailing approach of using only one indicator of biodiversity (typically, species richness) we provide evidence that it is possible to value changes in a number of attributes which describe complex characteristics of biodiversity, based on ecological knowledge. The attributes used include structural, species and functional diversity. The empirical application is a choice experiment study conducted in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland: our study is therefore also one of the first to cast light on the value of biodiversity protection in Eastern Europe. Interestingly, respondents valued passive protection regimes resulting in preservation of natural ecological processes. In addition, the respondents seemed to be concerned with the means, and not only the results of protection programmes.
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