Table of Contents

Valuing Ecosystem Services

Valuing Ecosystem Services

Methodological Issues and Case Studies

Edited by K. N. Ninan

Conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services is critical to promoting human welfare and sustainable development. Ecosystem services valuation has therefore recently assumed prominence in research and policy circles. In this illuminating volume, leading experts from around the world discuss the key methodological issues and challenges in valuing ecosystem services. Covering a cross-section of ecosystems and services in different sites, countries and regions, the collection also usefully presents case studies that value ecosystem services and experiences with operationalising valuation into policy.

Chapter 19: The role of ecosystem service payments in achieving conservation goals: attitudes among farm operators

Randall Kramer, Aaron Jenkins and Adriane Lesser

Subjects: environment, ecological economics


The challenges of maintaining healthy ecosystems continue to grow with the mounting pressures of human population and consumption. Protection, restoration and management of ecosystem services should be based in part on a better understanding of how humans benefit from ecosystems and how human behaviours that affect ecosystems can be modified through markets and other economic incentives (Kramer, 2007). Much of the production of ecosystem services occurs on privately held land, in particular, land used for agriculture and forestry (Wossink and Swinton, 2007). This implies that efforts to sustain and expand ecosystem services would benefit from a focus on private land managers. This chapter examines ecosystem service markets as a possible mechanism for attaining biodiversity conservation objectives on private lands. In particular, it assesses the attitudes of farm operators who manage private land in eastern North Carolina towards conservation and ecosystem service programmes. A mail survey of 298 North Carolina farm operators assessed their perspectives regarding current conservation programmes as well as attitudes towards future programmes having a focus on ecosystem service provision. The respondents were drawn from six contiguous eastern North Carolina counties – Hyde, Dare, Tyrrell, Beaufort, Washington and Bertie. As part of the design of a broader research agenda, all but one of the counties (Bertie) form the range of the only wild red wolf (Canis rufus) population in the world.

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