Methodological Issues and Case Studies
Edited by K. N. Ninan
Chapter 5: Stated preferences for tropical wildlife conservation amongst distant beneficiaries: charisma, endemism, scope and substitution effects
Sian Morse-Jones, Ian J. Bateman, Andreas Kontoleon, Silvia Ferrini, Neil D. Burgess and R. Kerry Turner
Tropical biodiversity continues to decline at unprecedented rates (Balmford et al., 2003; Butchart et al., 2010). Urgent action is required to tackle the direct and indirect drivers of loss and mainstream the economics of biodiversity (and ecosystem services) into development decision-making (CBD, 2010a). This is expected to require the mobilization of substantial resources (financial, human and technical) and, in particular, increased financial flows between developed and developing countries (CBD, 2010b). Whilst the conservation of tropical wildlife may generate significant ‘existence’ value to populations in distant ‘donor’ countries like the United Kingdom, very little is known about the size of these values. In view of the current funding crisis, this represents a significant gap in knowledge. Indeed such information may be of considerable value, for example, to stimulate much needed increases in financial (and technical) resource transfers, in market creation, raising public awareness and in informing the necessary trade-offs between what can and cannot be conserved. The only way to directly estimate these values is using stated preference (SP) methods which ask the public directly to express their preferences for such non-market goods. But, are stated preferences a sound basis for determining policy priorities for tropical wildlife, a remote and complex good? Two issues seem particularly salient.
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