Rural landscape valuation in a cross-border region
The rural landscape is one of the most valuable agricultural externalities and it is often affected by modifications in the agricultural production process. Moreover, some rural areas are deteriorating due to the depopulation process while others are being transformed owing to socio-economic pressures. However, should agricultural policies concerning landscape preservation only be considered as cost items or should they be seen as sources of social benefits able to justify economic support? On this basis two surveys were carried out in order to study the economic value of the rural landscape, focusing in particular on viticulture. Both studies covered quality wine-producing areas on the Italian/Slovenian border: The Controlled Denomination of Origin zones of ‘Collio’ and ‘Colli Orientali del Friuli’ in Italy, and the municipality of Brda in Slovenia. Both surveys assessed the economic value of the rural landscape in order to estimate the social benefit that populations attach to landscape preservation measures. Despite the fact that similar methods were applied, results differed. The peculiar backgrounds affected our results in two ways. Firstly we found that there was a considerable difference in the way Italians and Slovenes valued the rural landscape. While Italians considered the development and extension of vineyards to be very important in counteracting the abandonment of rural areas, Slovenes preferred “traditional” landscapes (orchards, grasslands and vineyards). Secondly, in Slovenia it was difficult to apply the contingent valuation method, which is based on a hypothetical market scenario. More research should be carried out in order to study the methods that best fitthe preferences for rural landscape.
Volume (Year): 84-85 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
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