The concept of ecosystem services (ES) remains underused in supporting practical decisions in conservation/development plans and programs. One of the most important factors explaining this non-consideration is the lack of spatial information describing the nature-society relationship in environmental and economic analyses. In this paper, we developed a novel method to predict, in spatially explicit terms, the recreation attractiveness potential combining supply and demand factors. Our method is based on the combination and transfer of a Lancasterian function of biophysical aspects and a travel cost model based on agents’ sociodemographic characteristics. We further validate the usefulness of the proposed recreation model by using it in the evaluation of a regional park charter pursuing two main objectives: recreational attractiveness and habitat quality (modeled with InVEST). The results demonstrate first that the biophysical context plays a large role in the recreational trip choice and thus should not be ignored in travel cost studies. Second, from a policy guidance perspective, we show that providing spatial information appears.
Preserving natural habitat quality and/or recreational attractiveness? Spatial tools for management planning
15 January 2019