Using the contingent valuation method to inform sustainable wetland management: the case of the Akrotiri wetland in Cyprus
Wetlands are a crucial component of water resources, providing several ecological functions and services, including flood attenuation, groundwater recharge and water quality maintenance, as well as conservation of biodiversity and provision of recreational activities. In Cyprus, an arid country with scarce water resources, wetlands have been degraded and drained due to the increasing intensity of agricultural production, water pollution, dam construction and the failure of existing national policies to efficiently and effectively manage them. In this paper it is stated that in order to be able to design and implement efficient and effective policies for sustainable wetland management, both the use and the non-use values generated by their several services and functions need to be realized and captured. This paper employs a non-market valuation method, namely a contingent valuation survey, to estimate the economic benefits generated by the Akrotiri wetland in Cyprus. The paper proposes how the results of this survey can be employed to design and implement efficient and effective wetland conservation policies, as a part of integrated water resource management in Cyprus, as required by the European Union’s Water Framework Directive.
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