Valuing cultural ecosystem services: Agricultural heritage in Chiloé island, southern Chile
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Valuation of cultural ecosystem services (CES) remains one of the most difficult and least accomplished tasks in ecosystem services research. In this study the Contingent Valuation Method with the double bounded dichotomous choice format was used to elicit WTP for agricultural heritage (AH) conservation, which was modeled using a Bivariate Probit specification. The hypothesis tested was that WTP decreased with distance from the site of provision of AH. Results show no significant differences in WTP across locations with equivalent means of US$50.8, US$36.2 and US$52.5 for Chiloé (site of AH provision), Valdivia (at 379 km from Chiloé), and Santiago (at 1198 km from Chiloé), respectively, suggesting that non-use values can be equally important for local as well as distant populations, particularly when the CES can be ascribed to emblematic cultural landscapes such as Chiloé. Aggregation of individual WTP demonstrates the importance of AH as a highly valued CES and sustains the recent designation of Chiloé as a Global Importance Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) pilot site. The study might prompt authorities to generate the proper incentives to move from just a GIAHS label to a real conservation initiative in Chiloé Island.
Artículo de publicación SCOPUS