New study shows that people are willing to pay for a healthier Baltic Sea
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.
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.
Download the scientific paper on the study here
Authors: Ahtiainen Heini, Hasselström Linus, Artell Janne, Angeli Daija, Czajkowski Mikoùaj, Meyerhoff Jürgen, Alemu Mohammed, Dahlbo Kim, Fleming-Lehtinen Vivi, Hasler Berit, Hyytiäinen Kari, Karlõseva Aljona, Khaleeva Yulia, Maar Marie, Martinsen Louise, Nõmmann Tea, Oskolokaite Ieva, Pakalniete Kristine, Semeniene Daiva, Smart James, and Söderqvist Tore.