Thursday, June 6, 2013

The value of Caura Park in Trinidad

I'm one of the advisers for a masters student at the University of the West Indies. I'm reading her thesis (all 91 pages of it) at the moment and thought I would share this nice passage with you. She did TCM application for recreational use values and a CVM application for non-use values.

"In the absence of non-market valuation the true worth of national parks remains hidden and the attention that is due both in terms of their provision and management is sometimes not rendered. Not only may they be under-provided but they also become vulnerable to conversion (Buyinza et al, 2007). Lowered perceptions of a park’s value, may falsely imply that increased financial benefits stand to be gained by a change in land use. The costs associated with park provision typically have explicit price tags attached. The benefits publicly received however are more difficult to measure considering the fact that they may be intrinsic in nature. Non-market valuation helps to balance the scales by focusing on revealing those benefits in a like unit (money) so that fair comparisons can be made between them, the explicit costs of park provision and the opportunity costs of sacrificed investments (Loomis 2006). Thorough economic assessments therefore help to ensure that recreational parks are not mistakenly estimated to be less valuable to the public than they really are. It aids therefore in the process of sustainable development planning and it contributes considerably to the formation of sound environmental policy (Ndebele 2009).
Non-market valuation has the potential also to emphasize the importance of proper management. According to Robinson (2001) an understanding of the science regarding the degradation that may be imminent, on its own can be too one-dimensional and therefore insufficient to ensure that governments take action to address issues of overexploitation. The addition of valuation studies to such a debate however, can help to create more convincing arguments in that regard. The probable losses to society as a result of degradation may be quantified and it is this value estimate that tends to act as the stimulus that compels governments to action. It helps to highlight the urgency with which exploitation aversion strategies ought to be implemented (Alvarez 2008). For economic studies to reflect the true worth of recreational parks however, holistic analyses must be conducted such that their total economic values (TEVs) can be estimated." 

Nice, huh?


Troy Daniel said...

Well said, just another example that prove non-use values exist.

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