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Economic values from the natural and cultural heritage in the Nordic countries

Improving visibility and integrating natural and cultural resource values in Nordic countries

image of Economic values from the natural and cultural heritage in the Nordic countries

Natural and cultural heritage represent key assets that deliver different kind of benefits to citizens in the Nordic countries. This report illustrates the economic values at stake and discusses the important and inevitable key trade-offs facing decision-makers charged with managing these assests. The report has three goals: to briefly describe existing conservation measures in the Nordic countries, to illustrate the type and magnitude of economic values generated by these measures, and to discuss key trade-offs and policy implications arising from the selection of measures, which lead to welfare impacts depending on the level of human use. The valuation studies reviewed in the report demonstrate real economic values associated with the experiences that natural and cultural heritage provides both in terms of increased welfare and regional economic impacts.

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Introduction

The natural and cultural heritage in the Nordic countries includes environmental and natural resources such as forests, wilderness, scenic landscapes, rivers, lakes and marine areas, as well as cultural resources such as historic buildings, structures or other human influences on the natural environment that we pass on to future generations. Some of these resources have protected designation status, which restricts development and certain activities – but others do not. This raises several important questions: what are the types (and magnitudes) of values generated from conserving these areas and how might the realization of these values by society differ, depending on how these areas are managed? Ultimately, this information can be used to improve future resource management decisions.

English

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