Valuing biodiversity attributes and water supply using choice experiments: a case study of La Campana Peñuelas Biosphere Reserve, Chile
The main objective of this study is to assess public economic preferences for biodiversity conservation and water supply and to analyse the factors influencing those preferences. A survey based on the choice experiment method was carried out at Peñuelas National Reserve, Chile, an area that is threatened by both occasional forest fires and the growing housing market. The input of local administrators was used to define environmental attributes of the area related to biodiversity conservation and water supply. Attributes were selected for analysis by the choice experiment. The selected attributes were the following: existence of endemic orchid species, chances of observing animals with scenic attraction, additional protection for an endemic amphibian, and availability of drinkable water in the future. A monetary variable consisting of an increase in the rate for entry to the area was also incorporated to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) for additional protection for the selected attributes. Three hundred four Chilean visitors to the reserve were randomly selected for interviews. Econometric analysis based on the Theory of Utility Maximization shows that visitors are willing to pay to protect the selected attributes. WTP values for the attributes range from CHP $2,600 ($5.4) to $6,600 ($14) per person per visit. The results of this research provide reserve managers information about tradeoffs that could be used to enhance public support and maximise the social benefits of nature conservation management programmes.
Artículo de publicación ISI
DOI: DOI 10.1007/s10661-012-2549-5