Economic Valuation of the Non-use Attributes of a Wetland: A Case-study for Lake Kerkini
Wetlands are an environmental feature which deliver a variety of market and non-market goods and services. Established environmental economic theory separates the value of these goods and services into direct-use values, indirect-use values and non-use values. Given appreciation of all three, measurements can be derived to demonstrate the amount of public money that it may be feasible to allocate to the sustainable management of wetlands. However, in many cases, non-use values are ignored and the total economic value of wetlands can be severely undervalued. As a result, inadequate resources are fed into their management and environmental degradation occurs due to inappropriate commercial exploitation of the natural resource. Lake Kerkini, in northern Greece, is one such wetland area threatened by undervaluation and overexploitation for commercial purposes, and a resource whose management would benefit from the realization of non-use values. This study therefore uses the contingent valuation method to place a value on the non-use attributes of Lake Kerkini. It also examines the relationship between the revealed non-use values and the distance people live from the lake, highlights the personal characteristics which appear important in determining total willingness to pay and breaks total non-use value down into its component parts to suggest the most important non-use elements. The paper concludes that sustainable management of the lake is justified and provides evidence that substantial public monies are potentially available to protect and enhance the environmental value of the resource.
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Volume (Year): 43 (2000)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
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