|Title||Using resident perceptions of values associated with the Australian Tropical Rivers to identify policy and management priorities|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Larson, S., Stoeckl, N, Neil, B, Welters, R|
|Keywords||Ecosystem assessments; Importance and satisfaction; Personal values; Social values; Water|
Many rivers in the world are facing changes due to increased development needs, and these changes impact on a range of values people associate with these rivers. We use a non-monetary tool in a mail-out survey of 291 households to assess the importance of social and cultural values of the Australian Tropical Rivers and identify associated management priorities. Nine river values were included in the assessment: bequest, existence, recreational ﬁshing, other types of recreation, aesthetics, teaching, water for human life, water for other life and commercial use. Of these, the most important values identiﬁed by respondents were biodiversity, human life, and bequest, with widespread agreement across respondents about their importance. Management priorities were assessed using the Index of Dissatisfaction (IDS). Although commercial values ranked sixth out of nine in terms of importance they emerged as the highest priority using IDS. This is because they received the lowest levels of satisfaction, associated with concerns over issues such as pollution, overuse and lack of monitoring. Thus, the main policy issue in this region might not be one of protecting commercial values, but of addressing concerns relating to the commercial use of water, and its potential negative impact on ecological and social values.