ISSRM 2009
15th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management
Meet old and new worlds in Research, Planning, and Management

Benefits of the management of agricultural landscape: an application of the landscape value trade

Eija Pouta (MTT Agrifood Research Finland, , Finland)
Maija Salmiovirta
Katriina Soini
Tapani Kivinen
Marja Uusitalo

Presented in:
Landscape Perception: With a Focus on Cultural and Agricultural Landscapes
Wednesday July 8 at 1:10 pm - 2:50 pm, Room: B 5 52

Agricultural landscape provides public goods for people as a recreation environment, and a frame for every day life. In Finland most of the agricultural environments are located in the most densely populated southern part of the country, and therefore their importance is considerable. Agricultural land plays a particularly important role as a close-to-home recreation environment, covering 180 million day trips annually. Active farmers maintain agricultural landscapes, partly under the control of agricultural policy and particularly of its environmental measures. However, some landscape elements might be excluded from these measures, although their provision is in the interest of local people. As a new instrument for landscape value provision, a voluntary landscape value trade has been suggested.

In this study we are interested of the benefits of a landscape management on a very local scale. The study area comprises of the agricultural land and its surroundings around three villages in Nurmijärvi in Southern Finland. The survey data were collected with a mail survey addressed to all households on the area. After three survey rounds altogether 630 inhabitants and landowners responded, corresponding 29 % response rate. To measure the benefits of landscape value trade, i.e. respondents’ willingness to pay, we applied valuation methods that can measure existence values as well as use values i.e. choice experiment and contingent valuation. Furthermore, the feasibility of landscape trade was evaluated from residents and landowners perspectives.

The local case study revealed the importance of landscape management for local people, as majority of them were ready to participate in the landscape value trade program as a buyer of landscape values. The willingness to pay for a landscape management program affecting the share of cultivated fields, crop variety, grazing animals, buffer zones, and the condition of production buildings varied from €86 to €125. The most valued landscape measures were the renovation of production buildings, and increasing the amount of grazing animals. The respondents were uncertain of the success of landscape value trade and they had doubts of the land owners’ willingness to participate in it. From the land owners 11% expressed interest to participate in the trade.