PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Ecology - Non-Clinical Medicine - Science Policy

The Economic Value of Environmental Services on Indigenous-Held Lands in Australia
Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Author: Kerstin K. Zander et al.

by Kerstin K. Zander, Stephen T. Garnett

Australians could be willing to pay from $878m to $2b per year for Indigenous people to provide environmental services. This is up to 50 times the amount currently invested by government. This result was derived from a nationwide survey that included a choice experiment in which 70% of the 927 respondents were willing to contribute to a conservation fund that directly pays Indigenous people to carry out conservation activities. Of these the highest values were found for benefits that are likely to improve biodiversity outcomes, carbon emission reductions and improved recreational values. Of the activities that could be undertaken to provide the services, feral animal control attracted the highest level of support followed by coastal surveillance, weed control and fire management. Respondents' decisions to pay were not greatly influenced by the additional social benefits that can arise for Indigenous people spending time on country and providing the services, although there was approval for reduced welfare payments that might arise.