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Title: Choice experiments and the social value of forests : Forestry Commission woodlands in south-east England, UK
Author: Manukyants, Anna.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3618 5578
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis investigates a relatively new approach to the valuation of the environment the Choice Experiments method, as a way of incorporating social values in forest planning and management processes It is shown that in previous research multidimensional forest values are found to largely reflect more general environmental values and that there is at present a sound rationale for looking for innovative ways of capturing such values in the United Kingdom (UK) forestry decision making processes. The thesis includes a detailed examination of the theoretical principles behind the traditional approaches to valuing the environment which have been dominant in the formation of the UK environmental policy. The main theoretical argument developed in the present research is that in the context of valuing environmental goods and services, elicitation of trade-offs between the conflicting value dimensions is of higher importance and usefulness than the conventional monetary estimation. In the light of this main argument the Choice Experiments( CE) method is examined in detail as a suitable approach for establishing trade-offs. This includes a discussion of both theoretical and methodological aspects of the method which influences the design of the empirical elements of the research. The empirical research is based on a study related to state-owned woodlands in the South East region of England. The CE survey in the local communities around Friston Forest and Abbot's Wood near Eastbourne East Sussex England is designed to explore and explain the relationship between three major dimensions of forest management nature conservation provision for public access and experience of nature. The analysis of the survey data analysis is used to estimate several multinomial logit models which describe the effect of each of the specified dimensions to the overall value placed on the forest environment The models are estimated for the whole sample as well as for sub-groups of the sample distinguished by socio-demographich characteristics There are three key findings from the CE survey. First, the analysis of the choice data reveals strongly expressed preference so wards higher levels of woodland conservation and lower levels of provision for public access in the form of recreational facilities. Second, in different preferences are observed in relation to the form of nature experience in the woodlands. Third, the use of sub-groups and separate models allows differentiation between segments of the population within the whole sample and hence the exploration of heterogeneity in tastes. The application of the CE method demonstrates the usefulness and suitability of this approach for identifying preferences and trade-offs between specified environmental value dimensions including both use and non-use values. A mong the main strengths of the method is the richness of the information obtained as well as the flexibility for estimating separate models to represent preferences of different segments of the studied population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available