Reducing Acidification: The Benefits of Increased Nature Quality. Investigating the Possibilities of the Contingent Valuation Method
In order to complete cost benefit analyses of acidification policies, an attempt was made to monetarize the benefits of increased nature quality. So far, several benefits of acidification abatement, such as reduced health risks, had been determined, but the benefits of increased nature quality were lacking, although nature is actually one of the most important reasons for abating acidification in the Netherlands.
This study shows that CVM can be used to estimate two specific benefits of increased nature quality due to acidification abatement: the non-use value and the recreational perception value. For other benefits, other valuation methods are needed. This study also shows that CVM is not suited for specifying benefits of different acidification scenarios, which differ little in physical effects on ecosystems. If abatement scenarios are rather extreme, it may be possible to differentiate benefits per scenario.
A CVM questionnaire was designed to determine the difference between the welfare generation of healthy ecosystems not suffering from acidification and unhealthy ecosystems affected by acidification. A striking result of the pre test was that all respondents were familiar with the environmental theme of acidification. The results of the pre test suggest that the benefits of nature may be quite large and that they should therefore not be overlooked.