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Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

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  • Windle, Jill
  • Rolfe, John

Abstract

Key policy issues relating to protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture are to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs of reducing pollutants. The research reported in this paper makes a key contribution in several key ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, and links improvements explicitly to changes in ‘water quality units’. Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policy makers with key information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. One implication for policy makers is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected

Suggested Citation

  • Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2010. "Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef," Research Reports 107583, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:107583
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/107583
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Moon, Amanda, 2009. "Complexity in choice experiments: choice of the status quo alternative and implications for welfare measurement," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), December.
    2. W. Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell, 2008. "The Economic Value of Water Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 169-187, October.
    3. Kosenius, Anna-Kaisa, 2010. "Heterogeneous preferences for water quality attributes: The Case of eutrophication in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 528-538, January.
    4. Prayaga, Prabha & Rolfe, John & Stoeckl, Natalie, 2010. "The value of recreational fishing in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: A pooled revealed preference and contingent behaviour model," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 244-251, March.
    5. Christie, Mike & Hanley, Nick & Warren, John & Murphy, Kevin & Wright, Robert & Hyde, Tony, 2006. "Valuing the diversity of biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 304-317, June.
    6. Boyd, James & Krupnick, Alan, 2009. "The Definition and Choice of Environmental Commodities for Nonmarket Valuation," Discussion Papers dp-09-35, Resources For the Future.
    7. MacLeod, N.D. & McIvor, J.G., 2008. "Quantifying production-environment tradeoffs for grazing land management -- A case example from the Australian rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 488-497, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Farr, Marina & Stoeckl, Natalie & Alam Beg, Rabiul, 2014. "The non-consumptive (tourism) ‘value’ of marine species in the Northern section of the Great Barrier Reef," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 89-103.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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