This multidisciplinary work explores ways of making environmental policy decisions in managing public goods and natural parks with the goal of maximizing economic benefits to society. The contributors to the volume seek the best strategies for improving the environmental sustainability and quality of a public resource by showing how to develop quantitative information about the natural area and how it interacts with the economy. Such an analysis can be used to define policies that encourage interactions among institutions, local economic agents and park users. At the same time, it provides a measure to account for the implications of those policies on the local economy.
A public resource, such as a natural park, has many different functions – the production of marketed goods, ecosystem protection and tourism – and its management requires the knowledge of the physical, biological and ecological characteristics of the functions supplied by the resource, as well as the value of each function and the public resource as a whole. To ensure the implementation of the optimal practice, the contributors adopt a participative approach to establish a credible social contract between the area’s public manager and its consumers. Balancing the interests of residents, visitors and local businesses, and coupling the development of both the natural potential of the area and the local economy, are necessary steps for the best strategy to be adopted.
Economists and agricultural–environmental economists, forest and resource planners interested in practical guidance, and professors who teach environmental economics or forest planning courses will all find this collection invaluable and instructive.