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Assessing national values to protect the health of the Great Barrier Reef

  • Rolfe, John
  • Windle, Jill
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    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a vast iconic environmental asset covering an area of approximately 35 million hectares. It is valued by people all over Australia, as well as overseas. Non-market values for the GBR will comprise both use and non-use values. The values of people who live closer to the GBR and who can visit it more frequently are likely to be higher than those who live further away. The aim of this study was to estimate the values to protect the health of the GBR at the national level and to examine the effects of distance decay on valuation estimates. A split-sample choice-modelling experiment was conducted in six locations: a regional town within the GBR catchment area (Townsville); Brisbane, the state capital approximately 450 km from the southern limit of the GBR; and four other capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) ranging from 730 km to over 3600 km from Brisbane. The results indicate that the total national value for a 1 per cent improvement in the health of the GBR ranges from between a low of approximately $433.6 million to a high of $811.3 million, depending on the underlying assumptions made. There was some evidence of distance decay in values. Most decline occurred once outside the home state, and little further decline once away from the east coast. There was no evidence to suggest any difference in patterns of use and non-use values. The values of the potential future users were most influential in determining WTP estimates.

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    Paper provided by Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub in its series Research Reports with number 96384.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:96384
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    1. van Bueren, Martin & Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2001. "Towards the development of a transferable set of value estimates for environmental attributes," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125993, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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