Social choice, conservation strategies and just compensation
Natural resources have rival uses. To determine optimal uses requires care and consideration. In the case of land, economic activities may compete with conservation goals. Although it has been argued that these two objectives are sometimes compatible, the most common situation is one where these two objectives conflict. When lands under production are required for conservation purposes, differing social and private interests, as well as different value-systems, can confront one another, generating conflict. Governments have the power to compulsorily acquire lands for "essential works". However, the dispossessed landowners have the right to be "fully compensated". "Full compensation" should recompense landowners not only for material losses but the loss of "unpriced values" or "intangibles". Under the current legislation only the former is considered when estimating compensation. In this thesis alternate courses of action are analysed for a particular High Country property, under the assumption that the Government could compulsory acquire the land. The alternatives are analysed using three different criteria, namely: their effects on nature, their effects on costs and on those people directly affected by the land-taking process. The optimal course of action is ultimately selected after considering all three effects.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordscompulsory acquisition; compensation; conservation; environmental impact; cost effectiveness; ethics; decision making; discount rates; valuation; non-market valuation; cost benefit analysis; welfare economics; linked compensation; covenants; just compensation; property rights; decision-matrix
Fields of Research140205 Environment and Resource Economics; 050209 Natural Resource Management; 140219 Welfare Economics
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