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Connecticut College

Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2014

Program Name

Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology


The present study can be broken down into two sections. First, it created a literature review on the current body of knowledge regarding ecosystem services in the Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The second portion of the study was an economic valuation determining how much residents that live in the Wet Tropics value the benefits provided to them through ecosystem services. The literature review found that there were large gaps in the present body of knowledge. Biophysical studies made up the vast majority of the literature and very few ecosystem service economic valuations have been carried out for the WTWHA prior to this study. The valuation used residents’ importance scores (Esparon et al 2014) along with a calculated sum of direct and indirect values to determine an ecosystem service ‘worth’ for the region. The study concluded that residents valued the ecosystem services provided for by the WTWHA at a value greater than $2.69 billion per annun. The study is intended to be used as a rationale to increase funds for conservation in the region on the premise that the area benefits its residents far more in a conserved state than in a degraded one.


Environmental Education | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Other International and Area Studies | Sustainability


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