Community values for environmental protection in a cane farming catchment in Northern Australia: a choice modelling study

Mallawaarachchi, T., Blamey, R.K., Morrison, M.D., Johnson, A.K.L., and Bennett, J.W. (2001) Community values for environmental protection in a cane farming catchment in Northern Australia: a choice modelling study. Journal of Environmental Management, 62 (3). pp. 301-316.

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Choice modelling is an emerging approach to estimating the non-use values of environmental services with multiple attributes. In this paper, results are reported of a choice modelling study conducted in the Herbert River District of North Queensland to estimate the value placed on the protection of natural vegetation in areas suitable for cane production by the local community. Resource use options that vary in the level of environmental protection and the level of agricultural production were presented as a series of choice sets and respondents were asked to choose among a set of three discrete alternatives in a given choice set. The alternatives in each choice set were described by four attributes, pertaining to the area of tea tree woodlands, the area of vegetation along rivers and in wetlands, regional income from cane production, and an environmental levy. The responses were analysed together with socio-economic data using a nested-logit discrete-choice model to estimate the community willingness-to-pay for the protection of natural vegetation. The results indicate that the environmental values of wetlands are comparable to returns from commercial production of sugar cane and that the values of teatree woodlands are comparable to returns from extensive grazing. It is argued that land allocation policies should recognise these values in tandem with commercial benefits of production to ensure that resources are used more efficiently.

Item ID: 13254
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8630
Keywords: choice modelling; externality effects; non-use values; sugar industry
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 02:27
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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