Demand-Side Factors in Optimal Land Conservation Choice
The dominant paradigm of conservation-reserve planning in economics is to optimize the provision of physical conservation benefits (measured in units like species protected) given a budget constraint. Large-scale biology-based priority setting implies that the value we place on biodiversity and ecosystem function is not affected by human proximity to that natural capital. There is significant evidence, however, that human willingness to pay (WTP) for conservation declines with distance (e.g. Loomis 2000) – a phenomenon we refer to as “spatial value decay”. This paper begins a new strand of the conservation planning literature that takes demand-side factors – the location of people in the landscape and the degree to which their willingness to pay for an environmental amenity depends on proximity to that amenity – into account. We use theoretical models of linear abstract landscapes to explore the impact of demand-side factors on two facets of optimal conservation choices: siting of a single reserve when conservation value is greatest near a critical site in the landscape (optimal targeting), and siting of multiple reserves when fragmentation reduces physical conservation services produced (optimal agglomeration). Our results show how optimal conservation planning might differ from straight ecological prescriptions. While minimum fragmentation is often optimal, planners can usefully employ increased fragmentation to capture value when people’s preferences are not very highly localized. In a targeting problem, the ecologically critical site is often the right thing to protect, but optimal policy balances proximity to critical site with proximity to people. In some scenarios, the payoff to using a reserve design approach that considers demand-side factors is large. Finally, we find that spatial value decay reduces the maximum levels of welfare and environmental services that can be gained from any conservation-planning approach. When spatial value decay is present because people are simply unaware of environmental resources farther away from where they live, education campaigns might serve to increase social welfare and environmental services.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Albers, Heidi J. & Ando, Amy W. & Chen, Xiaoxuan, 2008. "Spatial-econometric analysis of attraction and repulsion of private conservation by public reserves," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 33-49, July.
- Kotchen, Matthew J. & Powers, Shawn M., 2006.
"Explaining the appearance and success of voter referenda for open-space conservation,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 373-390, July.
- Matthew J. Kotchen & Shawn M. Powers, 2004. "Explaining The Appearance and Success of Voter Referenda For Open-Space Conservation," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Philip McCann, 2005. "Transport costs and new economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 305-318, June.
- Pate, Jennifer & Loomis, John, 1997. "The effect of distance on willingness to pay values: a case study of wetlands and salmon in California," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 199-207, March.
- Ando, Amy Whritenour, 2001.
"Economies of Scope in Endangered-Species Protection: Evidence from Interest-Group Behavior,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 312-332, May.
- Ando, Amy, 1999. "Economies of Scope in Endangered-Species Protection: Evidence from Interest-Group Behavior," Discussion Papers dp-97-44-rev, Resources For the Future.
- Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F. & Gramig, Benjamin M., 2006.
"Wildlife Conservation Payments to Address Habitat Fragmentation and Disease Risks,"
2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA
21076, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F. & Gramig, Benjamin M., 2008. "Wildlife conservation payments to address habitat fragmentation and disease risks," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 415-439, June.
- Ronald J. Sutherland & Richard G. Walsh, 1985. "Effect of Distance on the Preservation Value of Water Quality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(3), pages 281-291.
- Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2004. "Dynamic reserve site selection," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 157-174, June.
- Hannon, Bruce, 1994. "Sense of place: geographic discounting by people, animals and plants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 157-174, July.
- Nelson, Erik & Uwasu, Michinori & Polasky, Stephen, 2007. "Voting on open space: What explains the appearance and support of municipal-level open space conservation referenda in the United States?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 580-593, May.
- John B. Loomis, 2000. "Vertically Summing Public Good Demand Curves: An Empirical Comparison of Economic versus Political Jurisdictions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 312-321.
- Onal, Hayri & Yanprechaset, Pornchanok, 2007. "Site accessibility and prioritization of nature reserves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 763-773, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49209. 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: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.