Cost-benefit ratio and empirical examination of the acceptance of heathland maintenance in the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve

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The cost-benefit ratio of heathland maintenance measures was assessed in the Lueneburg Heath nature reserve in North-West Germany. This nature reserve contains large areas of heathland and is of substantial ecological and historical importance. The heathland can only be preserved by regular maintenance. For this assessment the costs of the maintenance measures were traced and a survey of visitors was carried out. The willingness-to-pay of the visitors for the heathland maintenance was determined as an assessment of the benefit created. Furthermore, the social acceptance of each maintenance measure was examined as this variable can influence the economic data considerably. These aspects represent a basis for the assessment of the net costs and benefits and for the calculation of the net present value (NPV) provided by the maintenance of the area. The results show a substantial positive net benefit of the heathland maintenance as a whole and varying acceptance of the different maintenance measures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)757-771
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 09.2004