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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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  • Westerberg, Vanja Holmquist & Lifran, Robert & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2010. "To restore or not? A valuation of social and ecological functions of the Marais des Baux wetland in Southern France," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2383-2393, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2383-2393
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    1. 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.
    2. repec:eee:ecoser:v:7:y:2014:i:c:p:98-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marva Stithou & Yiannis Kountouris & Phoebe Koundouri, "undated". "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.
    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. Sangare Moussa, 2017. "How to Restore Forest Areas in a Smallholder Agriculture-Dominated Country?," Journal of Management and Sustainability, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 7(1), pages 40-53, March.
    6. Haibo Wang & Mingguo Ma, 2016. "Impacts of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activities on the Ecological Restoration of Wetlands in the Arid Regions of China," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-25, March.
    7. Daria Sikorska & Piotr Sikorski & Richard James Hopkins, 2017. "High Biodiversity of Green Infrastructure Does Not Contribute to Recreational Ecosystem Services," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-13, February.
    8. Guimarães, Mª. Helena & Madureira, Lívia & Nunes, Luís Catela & Santos, José Lima & Sousa, Carlos & Boski, Tomasz & Dentinho, Tomaz, 2014. "Using Choice Modeling to estimate the effects of environmental improvements on local development: When the purpose modifies the tool," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 79-90.
    9. Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Romain Craste & Bengt Kriström & Pere Riera, 2014. "Non-market valuation in France: An overview of the research activity," Working Papers hal-01087365, HAL.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:598-:d:95692 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:ecoser:v:15:y:2015:i:c:p:113-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:ecoser:v:7:y:2014:i:c:p:46-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:gam:jeners:v:9:y:2016:i:3:p:166:d:65158 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. De Ayala Bilbao, Amaya & Hoyos Ramos, David & Mariel Chladkova, Petr, 2012. "Landscape valuation through discrete choice experiments: Current practice and future research reflections," BILTOKI Biltoki;2012-03, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Economía Aplicada III (Econometría y Estadística).
    16. 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.
    17. Bénédicte Rulleau & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu, 2012. "An overview of the landscape valuation studies conducted in France," Working Papers hal-00671540, HAL.
    18. repec:eee:touman:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:102-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:ecoser:v:17:y:2016:i:c:p:87-98 is not listed on IDEAS

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