Non-market use and non-use values for preserving ecosystem services over time: A choice experiment application to coral reef ecosystems in New Caledonia

Jean Baptiste Marre*, Luke Brander, Olivier Thebaud, Jean Boncoeur, Sean Pascoe, Louisa Coglan, Nicolas Pascal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Non-use values (i.e. economic values assigned by individuals to ecosystem goods and services unrelated to current or future uses) provide one of the most compelling incentives for the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Assessing the non-use values of non-users is relatively straightforward using stated preference methods, but the standard approaches for estimating non-use values of users (stated decomposition) have substantial shortcomings which undermine the robustness of their results. In this paper, we propose a pragmatic interpretation of non-use values to derive estimates that capture their main dimensions, based on the identification of a willingness to pay for ecosystem protection beyond one's expected life. We empirically test our approach using a choice experiment conducted on coral reef ecosystem protection in two coastal areas in New Caledonia with different institutional, cultural, environmental and socio-economic contexts. We compute individual willingness to pay estimates, and derive individual non-use value estimates using our interpretation. We find that, a minima, estimates of non-use values may comprise between 25 and 40% of the mean willingness to pay for ecosystem preservation, less than has been found in most studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Volume105
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Ecosystem services valuation
  • Non-use values
  • Time decay
  • Willingness to pay

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