The vineyard landscape of the oasis norte of Mendoza Argentina. Economic assessment of the recreational use through contingent valuation method

Oasis Norte’s vineyards of Mendoza Argentina have shaped along their existence, a characteristic landscape; this area is close to Mendoza City, a regional metropolis with about one million inhabitants. Throughout the last 25 years the urban expansion and urban sprawl have been changing this landscape as a result some views are altered by residential patches.

The aims of this work are to know how the local urban population perceives this landscape and its changes and to assess the economic value through the willingness to pay for recreational use. Landscape is an environmental good and among other uses, the recreational use of landscape is considered an environmental service of cultural type; this offers improvements in human’s feelings like spiritual pleasure, aesthetical enjoyment, and sense of identity or pride. The economic assessment of this kind of goods and services is more complex than the valuation of traditional ones –productive uses-, because there are not any transactions and reference prices.

Contingent Valuation is a direct method of valuation where the economic value is calculated through the declared preferences of people to use or feel the existence of this service. The parametric estimation of value of landscape is the main result obtained through an arithmetic model. Also confidence intervals, the significance of covariates like allocation, social or economic status, vision etc. have been estimated. We conclude that local people valuate their landscape and they declared that its degradation alters their lifestyle; the answers and values depend mainly on income, allocation, education level and age.

This awareness led to back public policies to keep the provision of aesthetical services confronting the real estate sector and provides a more realistic valuation of the losses – much more than grape production- when a vineyard is removed to build a new neighborhood. The valuation of the touristic use with other methods like travel cost is the following step of this research.

Authors: M. Eugenia VAN den BOSCH (1), Laura ALTURRIA (2), Laura ABRAHAM (2),
Eduardo COMELLAS (3)

(1) Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Mendoza CR Mendoza San Juan Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) San Martín 3853. M. Drummond. Mendoza. República Argentina
(2) Cátedra de Administración Rural Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Alte. Brown 500. Chacras de Coria. Mendoza República Argentina
(3) Instituto Nacional del Agua Centro de Economía, Legislación y Administración del Agua. Belgrano 210 Oeste Mendoza República Argentina

Email: vandenbosch.maria@inta.gob.ar

Keywords: Mendoza, urbanization, landscape, ecosystem services, perceptions

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