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Title: Revealing components of the economic value for environmental goods and services from forest : an application of stated preference methods for forest valuation and conservation
Author: Bakhtiari, Fatemeh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 8951
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2014
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The overall purpose and contribution of this thesis is increasing the understanding of components of the value of environmental goods. It investigates how the public perceive environmental goods (lay people's perception) and the elements of it that they value. Providing such knowledge contributes to improving valuation methods e.g. the use of the Choice Experiment (CE) for valuing forest biodiversity conservation. Increasing knowledge oflay people's perception and mental constructs of environmental goods can help researchers to know how they can present environmental goods in CEs which align with respondents' perceptions and to further understand the appropriate way of measuring these values. To fulfill the aim of the thesis, the broadleaved forests in southem Scandinavia were chosen as a case study area where both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to increase understanding of lay people's perception of forest environmental goods and services and to use this for improving stated preference valuation methods. The thesis includes two parts. The first is an introduction to the overall framework of the thesis, an overview of the objectives and an explanation of the main theories behind the CE method. The second part includes four papers. The first two papers mostly focus on improving methodological aspects of CEs, while the next two papers use the result of a CE to generate a better and more comprehensive information base for policy formulation and decision making procedures. The first paper provides input for the three other papers which investigate lay people's perceptions and mental constructs of concepts of nature, forest envirOlID1ental goods and services. The results contribute to the research field by illustrating that 'diversity of animals and plants', 'natural appearance and dynamics of ecosystem', and 'peace and quiet' are the most preferred attributes of forest ecosystems which were most frequently mentioned by lay people compared with other attributes of forest ecosystems. In addition, it was found that regardless of familiarity with the various ecological scientific telminologies, lay people had an intuitive understanding of ecological concepts such as biodiversity. The analyses demonstrate that respondents' perceptions and values of biodiversity could be framed in two categories: as a good in itself, and for its regulatory function. It was also revealed that attitudes to forest and its biodiversity may be rooted in respondents' mental constructs. This can be useful in targeting policies conceming conservation management. The second paper applies these insights from the qualitative investigation of nature perception to estimate WTP for forest biodiversity conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available