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Valuing the non-use benefits of marine conservation zones: An application to the UK Marine Bill

  • McVittie, Alistair
  • Moran, Dominic
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    This paper presents the results of a stated preference choice experiment designed to estimate the non-market benefits derived by UK residents from the conservation of ecosystem goods and services resulting from implementation of proposed Marine Conservation Zones under the UK Marine and Coastal Access Bill (2008). The results inform an impact assessment that compares benefits to projected policy costs. As demonstrated in a paper by Hussain et al (2010) ex ante benefit estimation is complicated by the scientific uncertainty and data gaps that hinder the development of a bottom-up valuation of the ecosystem goods and services provisioned by the policy. A choice experiment approach provides an alternative top-down valuation by approximating policy outcomes, which are spatially remote from beneficiaries and therefore arguably only appreciated passively or in terms of non-use or existence value for broadly defined attributes of the policy. The choice experiment shows preferences for both halting the loss of or increasing marine biodiversity, and the provision of other environmental services relative to current trajectories of decline. Survey respondents were indifferent to the levels of restrictions on activities needed to achieve these outcomes. As a top-down estimate of policy benefits, the study suggests that welfare improvements from the Marine Bill significantly outweigh projected regulatory costs.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-516768M-4/2/9cc29054714a1399bc846f6d788736b0
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 413-424

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:413-424
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
    2. Greg Lindsey & Ann Holmes, 2002. "Tourist Support for Marine Protection in Nha Trang, Viet Nam," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 461-480.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
    4. Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "Valuing ecosystem services as productive inputs," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 177-229, 01.
    5. Eggert, Håkan & Olsson, Björn, 2009. "Valuing multi-attribute marine water quality," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 201-206, March.
    6. Moberg, Fredrik & Folke, Carl, 1999. "Ecological goods and services of coral reef ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 215-233, May.
    7. Edward Barbier & Ivar Strand, 1998. "Valuing Mangrove-Fishery Linkages – A Case Study of Campeche, Mexico," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 151-166, September.
    8. Hussain, S. Salman & Winrow-Giffin, Alexandra & Moran, Dominic & Robinson, Leonie A. & Fofana, Abdulai & Paramor, Odette A.L. & Frid, Chris L.J., 2010. "An ex ante ecological economic assessment of the benefits arising from marine protected areas designation in the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 828-838, February.
    9. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-19, November.
    10. Brander, Luke M. & Van Beukering, Pieter & Cesar, Herman S.J., 2007. "The recreational value of coral reefs: A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 209-218, June.
    11. Kenneth E. Train, 1998. "Recreation Demand Models with Taste Differences over People," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(2), pages 230-239.
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