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CR 40:61-73 (2009)  -  DOI:

User community preferences for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures around Hainich National Park, Germany

Sandra Rajmis*, Jan Barkmann, Rainer Marggraf

Institute of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Environmental and Resource Economics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37073 Göttingen, Germany

ABSTRACT: In contemporary media discourse, suggestions for publicly mandated climate change mitigation or adaptation measures are frequently challenged from a cost perspective. However, empirical data on the actual economic appreciation of local mitigation and adaptation measures expressed as citizen willingness-to-pay (WTP) are scarce. In this paper, we report results of a preference survey using a choice experiment (CE) that quantifies economic preferences for biodiversity-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in the region surrounding Hainich National Park (Thuringia, Germany). A representative sample of 302 respondents—the majority of them frequent Hainich forest visitors—was interviewed in autumn 2006. Nested logit analysis showed that respondents state a substantially positive WTP for climate change mitigation by afforestation (p < 0.001). If converted to WTP for an additional sequestration of carbon that average German citizens emit as CO2, a monetary value of 7.34 € yr–1 t C–1 is obtained. For increasing forest resistance and resilience against insect pests and storms (climate change adaptation) a WTP of 27.54 € yr–1 (p < 0.001) is obtained, and 16.83 € yr–1 (p < 0.001) is obtained for increasing the general resilience and resistance of forest ecosystems to environmental stressors. Respondents support moderate programs to eradicate invasive plants when compared to more aggressive eradication measures. Due to the lack of comparable studies, it can only be conservatively assumed that WTP would be lower if mitigation and adaptation measures were to be implemented in forests not, or only rarely, used by respondents. As all proposed means for climate change mitigation and adaptation contribute to local forest ecosystem biodiversity, the results of the study advocate the realization of measures that potentially benefit both climate policy and regional conservation concerns.

KEY WORDS:Economic valuation · Choice experiment · CE · Willingness-to-pay · WTP · Afforestation · Insect pests · Climatic extremes · Resilience · Ecological biodiversity

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Cite this article as: Rajmis S, Barkmann J, Marggraf R (2009) User community preferences for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures around Hainich National Park, Germany. Clim Res 40:61-73.

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