Social welfare and marine reserves – is willingness to pay for conservation dependent on management process? A discrete choice experiment of the Ningaloo Marine Park in Australia

The creation of a marine reserve network is an active area of policy in Australia.Here, a discrete choice
experiment is used to estimate how the community values the ecology of the Ningaloo Marine Park,
with a view to understanding the drivers of social welfare in relation to marine conservation. A novel
aspect of this research is that it not only considers the values people hold for conservation outcomes,
but also their preferences for how those outcomes are achieved. The results indicate that management
process does have an impact on individuals’ preferences for conservation. By considering management
process within the choice model, we gain a richer understanding of the relationship between social
welfare and marine conservation.

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