IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Forest owners’ willingness to accept compensation for voluntary conservation: A contingent valuation approach


  • Lindhjem, Henrik
  • Mitani, Yohei


To avoid conflicts often associated with mandatory regulations, it is crucial to motivate and incentivize forest owners to participate in voluntary conservation programs. To investigate forest owner preferences and willingness to accept compensation (WTA) to participate, we conduct a contingent valuation survey of non-industrial private forest owners in Norway. We find that WTA is negatively related to the size of the forest holding and absentee ownership, and positively related to the share of the forest classified as productive. The overall mean WTA per year per hectare is estimated at NOK 1800. Costs of reaching conservation goals can be saved by targeting small and relatively less productive forests and absentee owners first, before considering increasingly expensive forest areas. However, this recommendation only holds if desirable biological characteristics are not substantially less likely to be found in such areas. Results are potentially important both for our understanding of forest owner preferences and the costs of voluntary forest conservation schemes currently in use in many countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindhjem, Henrik & Mitani, Yohei, 2012. "Forest owners’ willingness to accept compensation for voluntary conservation: A contingent valuation approach," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 290-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:foreco:v:18:y:2012:i:4:p:290-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfe.2012.06.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kilgore, Michael A. & Snyder, Stephanie A. & Schertz, Joseph & Taff, Steven J., 2008. "What does it take to get family forest owners to enroll in a forest stewardship-type program?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(7-8), pages 507-514, October.
    2. Gadaud, Juliette & Rambonilaza, Mbolatiana, 2010. "Amenity values and payment schemes for free recreation services from non-industrial private forest properties: A French case study," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 297-311, December.
    3. Beach, Robert H. & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & Yang, Jui-Chen & Murray, Brian C. & Abt, Robert C., 2005. "Econometric studies of non-industrial private forest management: a review and synthesis," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 261-281, March.
    4. Kline, Jeffrey D. & Alig, Ralph J. & Johnson, Rebecca L., 2000. "Forest owner incentives to protect riparian habitat," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 29-43, April.
    5. Juha Siikamäki & David F. Layton, 2007. "Potential Cost-Effectiveness of Incentive Payment Programs for the Protection of Non-Industrial Private Forests," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 539-560.
    6. Jagannadha R. Matta & Janaki R. R. Alavalapati & D. Evan Mercer, 2009. "Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation Beyond the Best Management Practices: Are Forestland Owners Interested?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(1), pages 132-143.
    7. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Boulatoff (Broadhead), Catherine & Desaigues, Brigitte & Gauthier, Caroline & Keith, John E., 2002. "The benefits and costs of riparian analysis habitat preservation: a willingness to accept/willingness to pay contingent valuation approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 17-31, November.
    8. Gregory, S. Amacher & Christine Conway, M. & Sullivan, Jay & Gregory, S. Amacher, 2003. "Econometric analyses of nonindustrial forest landowners: Is there anything left to study?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 137-164.
    9. Vokoun, Melinda & Amacher, Gregory S. & Wear, David N., 2006. "Scale of harvesting by non-industrial private forest landowners," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 223-244, January.
    10. Christian Langpap, 2004. "Conservation Incentives Programs for Endangered Species: An Analysis of Landowner Participation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(3), pages 375-388.
    11. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Huppert, Daniel D., 1989. "OLS versus ML estimation of non-market resource values with payment card interval data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 230-246, November.
    12. David Layton & Juha Siikamäki, 2009. "Payments for Ecosystem Services Programs: Predicting Landowner Enrollment and Opportunity Cost Using a Beta-Binomial Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 415-439, November.
    13. Cathal Buckley & Stephen Hynes & Tom van Rensburg & Edel Doherty, 2009. "Walking in the Irish countryside: landowner preferences and attitudes to improved public access provision," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(8), pages 1053-1070.
    14. Raunikar, Ronald & Buongiorno, Joseph, 2006. "Willingness to pay for forest amenities: The case of non-industrial owners in the south central United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 132-143, January.
    15. Jordan F. Suter & Gregory L. Poe & Nelson L. Bills, 2008. "Do Landowners Respond to Land Retirement Incentives? Evidence from the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 17-30.
    16. Sullivan, Jay & Amacher, Gregory S. & Chapman, Sara, 2005. "Forest banking and forest landowners forgoing management rights for guaranteed financial returns," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 381-392, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Guo, Huanhuan & Li, Bo & Hou, Ying & Lu, Shubing & Nan, Bo, 2014. "Rural households' willingness to participate in the Grain for Green program again: A case study of Zhungeer, China," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 42-49.
    2. Khanal, Puskar N. & Grebner, Donald L. & Munn, Ian A. & Grado, Stephen C. & Grala, Robert K. & Henderson, James E., 2017. "Evaluating non-industrial private forest landowner willingness to manage for forest carbon sequestration in the southern United States," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 112-119.
    3. Ildephonse, Musafili & Oluoch-Kosura, Willis & Otieno, Jakinda, 2016. "Assessing the value farmers attach to Volcanoes National Park management atrtributes in Rwanda: a choice experiment approach," 2016 Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246273, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    4. Håbesland, Daniel E. & Kilgore, Michael A. & Becker, Dennis R. & Snyder, Stephanie A. & Solberg, Birger & Sjølie, Hanne K. & Lindstad, Berit H., 2016. "Norwegian family forest owners' willingness to participate in carbon offset programs," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 30-38.
    5. Kang, Moon Jeong & Siry, Jacek P. & Colson, Gregory & Ferreira, Susana, 2019. "Do forest property characteristics reveal landowners' willingness to accept payments for ecosystem services contracts in southeast Georgia, U.S.?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 144-152.
    6. Mäntymaa, Erkki & Juutinen, Artti & Tyrväinen, Liisa & Karhu, Jouni & Kurttila, Mikko, 2018. "Participation and compensation claims in voluntary forest landscape conservation: The case of the Ruka-Kuusamo tourism area, Finland," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 14-24.
    7. Sironen, Susanna & Primmer, Eeva & Leskinen, Pekka & Similä, Jukka & Punttila, Pekka, 2020. "Context sensitive policy instruments: A multi-criteria decision analysis for safeguarding forest habitats in Southwestern Finland," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    8. Oviedo, José L. & Caparrós, Alejandro, 2015. "Information and visual attention in contingent valuation and choice modeling: field and eye-tracking experiments applied to reforestations in Spain," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 185-204.
    9. Rabotyagov, Sergey S. & Lin, Sonja, 2013. "Small forest landowner preferences for working forest conservation contract attributes: A case of Washington State, USA," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 307-330.
    10. Brouwer, Roy & Lienhoop, Nele & Oosterhuis, Frans, 2015. "Incentivizing afforestation agreements: Institutional-economic conditions and motivational drivers," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 205-222.
    11. Zhou, Li & Lei, Lei, 2017. "Can money always talk? : implication for environmental compensation by international agribusiness," IDE Discussion Papers 641, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    12. Jianhua Wang & Chenchen Yang & Wanglin Ma & Jianjun Tang, 2020. "Risk preference, trust, and willingness-to-accept subsidies for pro-environmental production: an investigation of hog farmers in China," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(3), pages 405-431, July.
    13. Yu, Bing & Xu, Linyu, 2016. "Review of ecological compensation in hydropower development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 729-738.
    14. Ildephonse, Musafili, 2015. "An Economic Analysis Of Farmers’ Preferences For Participatory Management Of Volcanoes National Park In Rwanda," Research Theses 265680, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    15. Nielsen, Anne Sofie Elberg & Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl & Strange, Niels, 2018. "Landowner participation in forest conservation programs: A revealed approach using register, spatial and contract data," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 1-12.
    16. Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo & Ortiz, Ramon Arigoni, 2018. "Costs and Perceptions Conditioning Willingness to Accept Payments for Ecosystem Services in a Brazilian Case," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 333-342.
    17. Gutierrez, Ana L. & Penn, Jerrod & Tanger, Shaun & Blazier, Michael, 2020. "Conservation Easement Landowners’ WTA Compensation to Thin their Forest," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304551, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    18. Bond, Anthelia J. & O’Connor, Patrick J. & Cavagnaro, Timothy R., 2018. "Who participates in conservation incentive programs? Absentee and group landholders are in the mix," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 410-419.

    More about this item


    Forest; Voluntary conservation; Biodiversity; Compensation; Willingness to accept; Contingent valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:foreco:v:18:y:2012:i:4:p:290-302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.