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    Social preferences regarding the delivery of ecosystem services in a semiarid Mediterranean region2011

    AGUILERA P.A., CABELLO J., CASTRO A.J., GARCIA-LLORENTE M., LOPEZ E., MARTIN-LOPEZ B.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    biens et services écosystémiques, évaluation contingente

    Journal of Arid Environments
    Volume 75, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 1201–1208

    The valuation of ecosystem services has primarily been conducted within the context of the economic value of these services to society. Ecosystem services research has since advanced to identify conflicts of interest between different sectors of society while prioritizing conservation actions. This approach can be important in semiarid ecosystems, where biodiversity conservation can be hindered by a lack of community awareness. In the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula, conservation is perceived by society as a barrier to the economic development provided by agricultural or tourism activities. We use the contingent valuation method to identify community perception and economic values of different ecosystem services provided by semiarid ecosystems in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. This method identifies the perceptions of individuals benefiting from ecosystem services and examines their willingness to pay for the maintaining of these ecosystem services. Results showed that most respondents recognized the importance of services to human well-being and were willing to conserve these services. Preferences for maintaining water and air quality showed that respondents understood the relationship between the conservation of ecosystem services and local well-being. However, responses varied greatly across categories of beneficiaries; this finding highlights a potential conflict of interest that should be considered in any decision-making processes.


    ►Biodiversity in semiarid areas can be hindered by a lack of community awareness. ►Preferences for ecosystem services are useful to identify conflicts of interest. ►Contingent valuation method can identify the economic values of services. ►Water and air quality were the most important in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula. ►Social preferences varied greatly across categories of services beneficiaries.


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