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The limitations of applying benefit transfer to assess the value of ecosystem services in a “generic” peri-urban, coastal town in Australia

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  • Windle, Jill
  • Rolfe, John

Abstract

Assessing the value of ecosystem services in a particular area helps provide information about the economic benefits these services provide to the community. In many situations, to avoid the full cost of primary data collection, value estimates may be applied from secondary sources in a process known as benefit transfer. However, in many countries, including Australia, the stock of economic value estimates for ecosystem services is limited and this restricts the application of benefit transfer. In this paper, the non-market values of three ecosystems (native vegetation, waterways, and wetlands) in a coastal peri-urban town are assessed using benefit transfer. Ecosystems in a peri-urban environment are generally fragmented and in a degraded condition, but can have very high values within the residential urban area. Three main limiting factors are identified. First, there is a general paucity of relevant source study estimates. Second, there is a need for scale adjustment factors so that source study estimates which are often assessed at a catchment or regional level can be adjusted to a small local council jurisdiction. Third, there is a need for some level of scope adjustment to account for the very high values of very small patch sizes, with low ecological value, within an urban area.

Suggested Citation

  • Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2013. "The limitations of applying benefit transfer to assess the value of ecosystem services in a “generic” peri-urban, coastal town in Australia," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152183, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare13:152183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marit E. Kragt & J.W. Bennett, 2011. "Using choice experiments to value catchment and estuary health in Tasmania with individual preference heterogeneity," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(2), pages 159-179, April.
    2. Wilson, Matthew A. & Hoehn, John P., 2006. "Valuing environmental goods and services using benefit transfer: The state-of-the art and science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 335-342, December.
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    5. Luke Brander & Ingo Bräuer & Holger Gerdes & Andrea Ghermandi & Onno Kuik & Anil Markandya & Ståle Navrud & Paulo Nunes & Marije Schaafsma & Hans Vos & Alfred Wagtendonk, 2012. "Using Meta-Analysis and GIS for Value Transfer and Scaling Up: Valuing Climate Change Induced Losses of European Wetlands," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(3), pages 395-413, July.
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    10. Sergio Colombo & Nick Hanley, 2008. "How Can We Reduce the Errors from Benefits Transfer? An Investigation Using the Choice Experiment Method," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 128-147.
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    13. John Rolfe & Jill Windle, 2012. "Distance Decay Functions for Iconic Assets: Assessing National Values to Protect the Health of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(3), pages 347-365, November.
    14. Robert J. Johnston & Randall S. Rosenberger, 2010. "Methods, Trends And Controversies In Contemporary Benefit Transfer," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 479-510, July.
    15. Mark Morrison & Jeff Bennett, 2004. "Valuing New South Wales rivers for use in benefit transfer," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(4), pages 591-611, December.
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    Land Economics/Use; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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