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An economic assessment of the value of tropical river ecosystem services: Heterogeneous preferences among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians

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  • Zander, Kerstin K.
  • Straton, Anna

Abstract

There is a current debate about development of the river and wetland systems of tropical Australia. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents of tropical river catchment areas have complex values for these systems which are difficult for decision-makers to accommodate. Aboriginal Australians are a large and growing proportion of the population and are also significant landowners, yet there is little information about the impacts of potential development scenarios on the welfare of Aboriginal Australians that can be used in benefit-cost analyses. This paper reports the application of a choice experiment to assess the potential impact of development/management strategies for three tropical rivers in Australia, and explores the differences between the preferences of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians living in the catchment areas. Most respondents preferred healthy river systems that are managed under conservation schemes even if this comes at a private cost. The willingness-to-pay of Aboriginal Australians was significantly higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians for some river attributes, particularly those related to cultural values. Aboriginal respondents were also indifferent towards the extraction of water for irrigated agriculture while non-Aboriginal respondents preferred moderate rather than large or small scale use.

Suggested Citation

  • Zander, Kerstin K. & Straton, Anna, 2010. "An economic assessment of the value of tropical river ecosystem services: Heterogeneous preferences among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2417-2426, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2417-2426
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    Cited by:

    1. Larson, Silva & Stoeckl, Natalie & Neil, Barbara & Welters, Riccardo, 2013. "Using resident perceptions of values associated with the Australian Tropical Rivers to identify policy and management priorities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 9-18.
    2. repec:eee:ecoser:v:10:y:2014:i:c:p:61-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pamela Kaval & Marjan van den Belt, 2017. "The Organizing Framework of Ecosystem Services and its use in River Management," Working Papers in Economics 17/22, University of Waikato.
    4. repec:eee:ecoser:v:21:y:2016:i:pa:p:53-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Desbureaux, Sébastien & Brimont, Laura, 2015. "Between economic loss and social identity: The multi-dimensional cost of avoiding deforestation in Eastern Madagascar," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 10-20.
    6. Cati Torres & Nick Hanley, 2016. "Communicating research on the economic valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services," DEA Working Papers 81, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
    7. Sandhu, Harpinder S. & Crossman, Neville D. & Smith, F. Patrick, 2012. "Ecosystem services and Australian agricultural enterprises," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 19-26.
    8. repec:eee:ecoser:v:23:y:2017:i:c:p:218-227 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Carson, Richard T. & DeShazo, J.R. & Schwabe, Kurt A. & Vincent, Jeffrey R. & Ahmad, Ismariah, 2015. "Incorporating local visitor valuation information into the design of new recreation sites in tropical forests," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 338-349.
    10. Breeze, T.D. & Bailey, A.P. & Potts, S.G. & Balcombe, K.G., 2015. "A stated preference valuation of the non-market benefits of pollination services in the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 76-85.
    11. 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.
    12. Miller, Sini & Tait, Peter & Saunders, Caroline, 2015. "Estimating indigenous cultural values of freshwater: A choice experiment approach to Māori values in New Zealand," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 207-214.
    13. repec:eee:touman:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:102-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Kountouris, Yiannis & Nakic, Zoran & Sauer, Johannes, 2015. "Political instability and non-market valuation: Evidence from Croatia," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 19-39.

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