Including aesthetic and recreational values in cost-effectiveness analyses of land use change based nitrogen abatement measures in Denmark

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Anne Kejser Jensen, Kennet C. Uggeldahl, Brian H. Jacobsen, Jørgen Dejgård Jensen, Berit Hasler

In recent years there has been an increased focus on including aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity in cost-effectiveness analyses of nitrogen (N) abatement measures. Side-effects such as aesthetic and recreational benefits generated by the land use changes implied by some N abatement measures, such as afforestation and constructed wetlands, are included in ecosystem service approaches, but seldom explicitly in cost-effectiveness analyses. While several studies have estimated these values for e.g. forests and wetlands, per se, few have studied how these effects are valued by the general population when generated through the implementation of land use changes driven by measures aimed at reducing the loss of nitrogen from agriculture. The land use changes implied by the N abatement measures have different characteristics to that of the evaluations of forests for recreation or larger wetlands created or maintained for biodiversity, mainly because the area affected varies considerably in size and shape. In this paper, we estimate the welfare economic impacts of some of the potential side-effects, such as recreational and aesthetic effects, of three N abatement measures related to agricultural land use change: afforestation, constructed wetlands or energy crops. We incorporate the value of these side-effects in a standard cost-effectiveness analysis and discuss the policy implications. This allows us to evaluate to what extent the inclusion of these side-effects change the ranking of the measures and the cost levels used. We thereby provide a more holistic approach to the cost-effectiveness analysis of land use change based N abatement measures, and discuss the challenges relating to the spatial aspects that arise when accounting for the value of the analyzed side-effects. The analysis shows that public access to the area largely determine whether the selected measures are perceived as positive or negative. The impact of the analyzed side-effects on the cost-effectiveness analysis critically depends on the size of the affected population, as the value of the side-effects are measured per household.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume240
Pages (from-to)384-393
Number of pages10
ISSN0301-4797
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Agri-envionmental measures, Landscape, Nutrient loss, Preferences, Willingness to pay

ID: 222748945