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Using Nonmarket Valuation to Target Conservation Payments: An Example Involving Georgia's Private Forests

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Using landscape analysis and economic valuation, this article shows how valuation techniques can inform prioritization of private forestland for ecosystem service conservation and highlights the methodological challenges in doing so. We classify forests according to six ecological and social characteristics. If ecosystem service priorities are known a priori, this landscape analysis might be sufficient for targeting conservation efforts. However, if priorities are not known or there are multiple priorities, economic valuation techniques can be used to estimate preference weights to prioritize forests based on the benefits of the ecosystem service provided. We create priority conservation maps using two different valuation methods: benefit transfer and an original stated choice experiment. The two approaches result in significantly different priority maps, largely due to how the two methods operationalize value. These differences underscore the importance of carefully evaluating the methodological implications of using a particular valuation technique

Keywords: benefit transfer; conservation targeting; nonmarket valuation; payments for ecosystem services; stated choice

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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