Economic valuation of ecosystem services provides valuable information for the management of anthropized environments, where individual preferences can be heterogeneous and even opposed. Here, we discuss how these ecosystem services were approached in the literature and we address the main issues in relation to their economic valuation. We consider that avoiding misspecifications in economic valuation surveys requires considering the linkages between anthropized ecosystems and human intervention. To illustrate, we analyse the case study of a human-created Mediterranean wetland (El Hondo, SE Spain) using a Choice Experiment. Our findings suggest that management strategies in El Hondo should be oriented to improve the water ecological status, to enhance biodiversity and to develop ecotourism, whereas hunting should be strictly limited and controlled. Our measures of conflict (trade-off between ecosystem services and willingness to pay values) can help to find the optimal allocation of public and private goods and services and for the implementation of compensation schemes in the area. According to public preferences, a conservationist management strategy would generate 331,100 €/year in terms of environmental benefits, whereas a tourism-based management strategy would benefit society with 805,200 €/year.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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