The evaluation of degraded land by application of the contingent method

https://doi.org/10.17221/227/2014-SWRCitation:Janků J., Kučerová D., Houška J., Kozák J., Rubešová A. (2014): The evaluation of degraded land by application of the contingent method. Soil & Water Res., 9: 214-223.
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Industrial activities in the Czech Republic have brought into existence many degraded and contaminated sites. Such areas are not suitable for farming, building or recreation purposes. The necessary reclamation is typically very expansive. In this study, the contingent valuation method (CVM) was used to estimate the public’s willingness to pay for soil reclamation, and also to find out the desire of habitants to live in a good environment with respect to soil quality, and generally to improve the publics awarness of soil protection. This study can help to improve understanding of the local public willingness to pay for reclamation of degradated land protection and can provide useful information for an effective land protection programme. The study was carried out on the locality of Březové Hory – a part of the old mining town Příbram. The chosen locality was used for the placement and storage of residual material after mining, but also includes different soils, which have been transported here as useless material. After the reclamation of a part of the locality, a forest park has been established. A random questionnaire survey was conducted with local resident and as well as holiday makers. The results of the survey indicated that protection of cultivated land was important to the local public. The mean willingness to contribute to reclamation of degraded and contaminated lands in Březové Hory was expressed as the following amount of money: 36.64 CZK (1.4 €) per habitant. The findings calculated suggested that the costs of reclamation of landfill soils on Březové Hory totaled 1528 CZK/m2. The results of the survey also showed that the willingness to pay increased according to the dependence on income, the gender and also residential address of respondents. The results have not confirmed the dependence on education. In order to increase the hypothetical willingness to pay, an increase of public awareness of soil degradation and harmful effects on the environment is necessary. Furthermore, it was shown that the market valuation of land can not be used for soil protection purposes.
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