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Non-market valuation of the coastal environment - Uniting political aims, ecological and economic knowledge
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 110, 166-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we examine the feasibility of using an approach for estimating Willingness-To-Pay for marine environmental improvements, based on a holistic, policy-determined scenario. Conducting valuation studies based on a policy-determined scenario is beneficial for decision-makers in terms of practical applicability but also for research in terms of e.g. data availability. Using a case study in two Swedish coastal areas, we examine whether respondents are able to understand and attach a monetary value to these types of scenarios. The tested scenarios are based on improving water quality according to the EU Water Framework Directive and reducing noise and littering according to standard-type measures in a Swedish archipelago setting. The results are promising, paving the ground for future valuation studies using this approach. However, there might be tradeoffs, since the use of scenarios like this require much preparation by researchers and much efforts by respondents. We recommend environmental managers to adopt this approach when possible, but to have these potential tradeoffs in mind. Mean monthly WTP per household for the water quality improvement scenario is estimated to 71 and 102 SEK1 in the two study areas, respectively. The corresponding numbers for the less noise and littering scenario are 38 and 46 SEK. Valuation of noise and littering in archipelago areas has previously not been very common, making these estimates especially important for marine policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 110, 166-178 p.
Keyword [en]
Contingent valuation, IOE, Holistic, Water quality, Noise, Littering
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104688DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.012ISI: 000309486700018ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84863666105OAI: diva2:566787

QC 20121109

Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The monetary value of marine environmental change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The monetary value of marine environmental change
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The marine ecosystems are fundamental for human welfare. A number of current environmental pressures need attention, and the formulation of management strategies requires information from a variety of analytical dimensions. The linkage between environmental change and resulting implications for human welfare is one such dimension.

This thesis presents studies on welfare implications from hypothetical future policies which improve the state of the marine environment. The method for these studies is economic valuation. The studied scenarios concern eutrophication in the Baltic Sea (including the Kattegat) and oil spill risk from shipping in the Lofoten-Vesterålen area in the Arctic Barents Sea. The thesis shows that the economic benefits from undertaking policies to improve or protect the marine environment in these cases are substantial and exceed the costs of taking measures.

In addition to providing new monetary estimates, the thesis also provides new insights concerning 1) what type of scenario to use when valuing an environmental improvement and 2) whether there may exist trade-offs between precision in estimates and the level of ambition with respect to survey instrument complexity and econometric models when conducting valuation studies. The findings suggest an end of an era for studies in which the environmental change is unspecified or based on a single environmental indicator while the actual consequences of the suggested measures are more multifaceted. In contrast, relevant scenarios to study are well-specified and holistic. The thesis further reveals that it might not always be worth the effort to go for the most advanced scenario presentation or statistically best-fitting model specifications. This is something that needs to be further discussed among practitioners in order to allocate valuation resources wisely and not waste resources on unnecessarily elegant valuation studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 85 p.
Contingent valuation, choice experiment, benefits transfer, cost-benefit analysis, ecosystem services, eutrophication, oil spills, Baltic Sea, Arctic
National Category
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193727 (URN)978-91-7729-148-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-08, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Sing-Sing, våningsplan 2, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved

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