Recognizing the insurance value of resilience: Evidence from a forest restoration policy in the southeastern U.S.

Sophia J. Tanner, Francisco J. Escobedo, José R. Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The long-term supply of ecosystem services is dependent on properly functioning ecosystems and their susceptibility to natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as climate change and urbanization, as they can alter ecosystem structure and function. Forest function is not static, but rather a risky asset that fluctuates and can decrease as a result of forest disturbance. Therefore, concepts such as resilience and insurance value as well effective policy formulation, management, and restoration are key to maintaining these benefits. This study estimates the insurance value that the public places on a policy that promotes restoration for increased resilience and ecosystem services using binary choice (BC) and best-worst scaling (BWS) models to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) and to vote for the restoration of longleaf pine (LLP) forests in the southeastern United States. Our BWS findings indicate that respondents seemed to only prefer programs with low risk of forest damage and lower monthly costs, while BC models show that low and moderate risk programs increased the likelihood of voting for them and that excellent wildlife habitat was also highly valued by our respondents. Positive attitudes towards the environment also positively influence voting for forest restoration programs. Findings contribute to an emerging body of literature on social-ecological systems and how the voting public conceptualizes trade-offs among ecosystem services, insurance value, and resilience. Results may help assess the use and incorporation of concepts such as resilience, ecosystem services, and insurance value in restoration, environmental, fire management, and climate change-related policy instruments and programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112442
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume289
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Keywords

  • Best-worst scaling
  • Choice experiments
  • Ecosystem service trade-offs
  • Longleaf pine
  • Risk
  • Social-ecological systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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