Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer
Chapter 11: The economic value of pollution damage in the Pantanal
Dominic Moran and André Steﬀens Moraes 1 INTRODUCTION The complexity of much environmental change represents a challenge for policy appraisal in many parts of the world. While many major projects are subjected to some form of environmental impact assessment, the qualitative nature of these studies often only highlights the irreducible nature of environmental complexity rather than oﬀering direction on whether or not a project increases overall welfare. Other means of summarizing environment-related welfare changes have therefore become more prominent, and contingent valuation in particular appears to be graduating from a predominantly academic pastime to a policy requirement. The adoption of contingent valuation (CV) has much to do with the plurality of inseparable use and non-use values associated with environmental goods (Cummings and Harrison, 1995). If the non-use advantage of CV is valid, the method oﬀers a distinct improvement over other revealed value approaches despite the disadvantages of an absent ‘behavioural trail’. In this chapter, contingent valuation is applied to estimate potential nonuse damages to the Pantanal ecosystem from adverse agricultural and mining activity. In contrast to existing CV studies conducted in Brazil (Briscoe et al., 1990), the study focuses on non-use values related to ecosystem health and water pollution. We concentrate on a group of resource users, but the issue under consideration is of a passive use nature. The study is similar in spirit to applications to other complex goods such as aquatic habitat (see Whittington et al., 1994), valuation of landscapes (Willis et al., 1995) and...
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