New study shows that people are willing to pay for a healthier Baltic Sea
A new study by the research network BalticSTERN reveals that people around the Baltic Sea experience the effects of eutrophication, and are willing to pay for environmental improvements.
People in the nine countries around the Baltic Sea attach great value to the Sea and are willing to pay in total 4 000 million Euros per year for an improved marine environment. This is shown in a new scientific study from the international research network BalticSTERN. For the first time people in all nine Baltic Sea countries have been asked simultaneously what they would be willing to pay for reducing eutrophication in the Sea. A majority are willing to pay for reduced eutrophication effects, for example, improved water transparency, less algal blooms and less oxygen deficiency in deep-sea bottoms.
Willingness to pay
The average willingness to pay varies considerably across countries, ranging from 4 to 110 Euros per person and year. If income differences are considered the range generally decreases however. Swedes are willing to pay the most followed by Finns and Danes. The lowest willingness to pay is found in Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Every second respondent had experienced the effects of eutrophication, mostly in terms of water turbidity and algal blooms, and many are worried about the environmental state of the Baltic Sea. The study also shows that most people care about the Baltic Sea as a whole and not only about their local sea areas.
10 500 people participated in the survey, either through an internet questionnaire or in face-to-face interviews.
- This is a strong message to decision makers that there is public support for further actions to improve the state of the Sea. Doing too little will be costly, says Linus Hasselström, analyst at Enveco and scientific coordinator of the study in Sweden.
The results from the willingness to pay study will be included in a cost-benefit analysis to be published by the BalticSTERN research network during autumn 2012.
The scientific paper o the new study, Benefits of meeting the Baltic Sea nutrient reduction targets – Combining ecological modelling and contingent valuation in the nine littoral states, can be downloaded here.
Read the press release about the Swedish results here (pdf, 1000 kB)
Läs det svenska pressmeddelandet här (pdf, 1000 kB)
Authors:Heini Ahtiainen, Linus Hasselström, Janne Artell, Daija Angeli, Mikolaj Czajkowski, Jürgen Meyerhoff, Mohammed Alemu, Kim Dahlbo, Vivi Fleming-Lehtinen, Berit Hasler, Kari Hyytiäinen, Aljona Karlõseva, Yulia Khaleeva, Marie Maar, Louise Martinsen, Tea Nõmmann, Ieva Oskolokaite, Olga Rastrigina, Kristine Pakalniete, Daiva Semeniena, James Smart and Tore Söderqvist
Analyst Enveco, scientific coordinator of BalticSUN Sweden
Tel: +46 70 498 78 20, firstname.lastname@example.org
Analyst, BalticSTERN Secretariat
Tel: +46 10 698 1569, email@example.com
Head of BalticsSTERN Secretariat
Tel: +46 8 674 72 32, firstname.lastname@example.org