Forest Owners’ Participation in Voluntary Biodiversity Conservation: What Does It Take to Forgo Forestry for Eternity?

Yohei Mitani and Henrik Lindhjem

Abstract

We analyze what motivates Norwegian nonindustrial private forest owners to participate in a national voluntary conservation program. Our empirical study provides new insights, since the program requires participants to relinquish all rights to forestry for eternity, including future generations. To achieve an efficient conservation strategy, it is important to understand what drives motivations sufficiently strong to participate on such terms. Our econometric analyses suggest that forest owners’ expectation of sustainable nontimber income enhanced by the program, positive attitude toward stricter conservation regulations, and lower share of mature forest have strong positive effects on the likelihood of participation. (JEL Q23, Q24)

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