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Tasmanian landowner preferences for conservation incentive programs: a latent class approach

van Putten, EI 2008 , 'Tasmanian landowner preferences for conservation incentive programs: a latent class approach', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Incentive programs aimed at encouraging private landowners to set aside areas of
forest for their conservation value have existed in Australia for more than two
decades. Many programs restrict the use of the land by legal agreements or other
means and some programs offer the landowner financial compensation. Most
programs are based on voluntary entry by landowners.
Programs available in Tasmania have added significantly to the total forest area
conserved on private land. Nevertheless, in some regions more than 80 percent of
land with conservation value remains unprotected and programs routinely fail to meet
enrolment targets. This has resulted in considerable debate about the design of
programs and has resulted in an increase in the amount of compensation offered and
the introduction of more flexible conservation management options. In a limited
number of situations, the option of forcing landowner entry into conservation
incentive programs has also been considered.
The objective of this study is to provide information for policy makers that hasn't
existed before and that can be used in designing conservation programs. An improved
understanding of landowners' decision framework, their motivation and the strength
of their behavioral response will facilitate better forecasting of landowner
participation decisions which may lead to an increase in landowner enrolment in
In this dissertation a conceptual model of landholders' participation choice is
developed that combines a traditional utility maximisation framework with
information about landowner attitudes. An empirical model of landowners'
conservation incentive program choice is then developed. The model is estimated
using stated preference data from a Best-Worst and a Choice survey. The responses
to the Best-Worst survey, which was carried out first, were used to determine the
choice set for the subsequent Choice survey. The Best-Worst survey was also used to
explore differences between the perceived importance of program attributes by
program designers and administrators, and landowners.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:van Putten, EI
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