Testing different types of benefit transfer in valuation of ecosystem services: New Zealand winegrowing case studies
Most ecosystem services (ES) are neither priced nor marketed. Resource managers may fail to take into account degradation of unpriced services in their resource management decisions. Being able to estimate values for ES is fundamental to designing policies to induce resource users to provide (or improve) ES at levels that are acceptable to society. Conducting ecosystem valuation via non-market methods is costly and time consuming. Benefit transfer (BT) using choice experiment (CE) is a potentially cost-effective method for valuing ES by transferring information from existing valuation studies (and study sites) to a target area of interest (policy sites). The prime objective of this paper is to examine the validity of BT and hence whether it is feasible to conduct the transfer process and assist policy making. The paper focuses on the environmental impact of winegrowing practices in two New Zealand winegrowing regions. The two sites, Hawke's Bay and Marlborough, have similar environmental issues and attributes but are geographically separated. The study estimates Willingness to Pay (WTP) and Compensating Surplus (CS) for ES applying CE and, subsequently, given the preferences of respondents across sites and populations, tests the transferability of unadjusted value transfer (WTP) and benefits function (CS) assessing four different types of BT.
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