Cultural bequest values for ecosystem service flows among indigenous fishers: a discrete choice experiment validated with mixed methods

Oleson, Kirsten L.L., Barnes, Michele, Brander, Luke M., Oliver, Thomas A., van Beek, Ingrid, Zafindrasilivonona, Bienvenue, and van Beukering, Pieter (2015) Cultural bequest values for ecosystem service flows among indigenous fishers: a discrete choice experiment validated with mixed methods. Ecological Economics, 114. pp. 104-116.

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Perhaps the most understudied ecosystem services are related to socio-cultural values tied to non-material benefits arising from human-ecosystem relationships. Bequest values linked to natural ecosystems can be particularly significant for indigenous communities whose livelihoods and cultures are tied to ecosystems. Here we apply a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to determine indigenous fishers' preferences and willingness-to-pay for bequest gains from management actions in a locally managed marine area in Madagascar, and use our results to estimate an implicit discount rate. We validate our results using a unique rating and ranking game and other mixed methods. We find that bequest is highly valued and important; respondents were willing to pay a substantial portion of their income to protect ecosystems for future generations. Through all of our inquiries, bequest emerged as the highest priority, even when respondents were forced to make trade-offs among other livelihood-supporting ecosystem services. This study is among a relative few to quantify bequest values and apply a DCE to model trade-offs, value ecosystem service flows, and estimate discount rates in a developing country. Our results directly inform coastal management in Madagascar and elsewhere by providing information on the socio-cultural value of bequest in comparison to other ecosystem service benefits.

Item ID: 43489
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6106
Keywords: cultural ecosystem services, bequest value, discrete choice experiment, discount rate, economic valuation, Madagascar
Funders: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (JDCTMF), Waterloo Foundation (WF), Network for Social Change, National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: JDCTMF Grant 07-89632-00-GSS, WF 499-547, NSF Grant OISE-08530386
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 02:28
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950305 Conserving Natural Heritage @ 35%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 35%
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