TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Estimation of economic values for ecosystem services of Australia's tropical rivers, Riversymposium Conference, Perth 2010

TitleEstimation of economic values for ecosystem services of Australia's tropical rivers, Riversymposium Conference, Perth 2010
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsStraton, A, Zander, K
Keywords2: Assets and Values
Abstract

An ongoing drought in southern Australia and increasing awareness of the value of water worldwide is drawing attention to the potential for development in northern Australia. Any development in this region will have impacts on the ecosystems and ecosystem services of tropical river systems, and on the welfare of Australians and people worldwide. Decision-makers are seeking to take these welfare impacts into consideration in assessing development pathways. This paper provides welfare estimates for changes in four tropical river ecosystem services, thereby providing information about a wider range of costs and benefits of development than was previously available. The study identifies different classes of respondents to provide policy-makers with a greater level of information about some differences in preferences and resulting impacts on welfare estimates. The finding for the whole sample is that respondents value positive outcomes for the environmental, recreational, cultural and production ecosystem services of Australia’s tropical rivers and are prepared to pay to achieve these outcomes. The relative implicit prices reveal that seeing waterholes that are important to Aboriginal people in their highest possible condition is worth nearly two and a half times more than seeing the largest possible area of floodplain in a healthy state, and worth nearly three times as much as not seeing income from irrigated agriculture at its lowest level.

URLhttp://www.riversymposium.com/index.php?element=T_s4_A2_Anna+Straton.pdf