Valuation of Ecosystem Non-market Services: Recreational Service in Estonia

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Series Details Volume 31, Number 1-2, Pages 95-113
Publication Date 2023
ISSN 2228-1878
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Determining the value of ecosystem services and developing the corresponding statistical standard is an important prerequisite for sustainable resource use from the point of view of society. The purpose of this research is to find out the financial equivalent of the recreational value of Estonian ecosystems, to determine the share of different ecosystems in the provision of recreation services and to find out the willingness of Estonian residents to pay for the infrastructure needed to use the recreation service.

The work uses an extended contingent valuation study as a method. The results of the survey show that the average Estonian resident makes 17 nature trips a year for the purpose of recreation. Only 4.3 of these trips are with overnight stays. The time in contact with nature per year is 102 hours per inhabitant on average, the financial equivalent of which is 714 euros per year using the time value method. In total, the annual volume of recreation services of Estonian ecosystems using the time value method is 762 million euros, of which almost two-thirds can be attributed to forest and seaside ecosystems.

The willingness to pay of the adult population of Estonia for the infrastructure supporting the use of recreation services is approximately 25 million euros per year, which exceeds the actual investments made for this purpose per year. In addition, the article discusses the suitability of data obtained by the contingent valuation method as a basis for statistics on the monetary value of non-market ecosystem services.

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