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Including management policy options in discrete choice experiments : a case study of the Great Barrier Reef
Information about the management policy used to achieve environmental protection outcomes is rarely included as variables in choice experiments. In cases where people have very different preferences for the types of input measures used, the utility of environmental protection options may be sensitive to the choice of inputs used to achieve the protection. The discrete choice experiment reported in this paper to value protection measures for the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is interesting in two important ways. First, different management policies to increase protection have been included as labels in the choice experiment to test if the mechanisms to achieve improvements are important to respondents. Second, the level of certainty associated with predicted reef health has been included as an attribute in the choice alternatives, helping to distinguish between outcomes of different management policies. The results show that protection values vary with the policy scope of the improvements being considered. Values are sensitive to whether protection will be generated by improving water quality entering the reef, increasing conservation zones or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the level of certainty of outcomes.