Landscape preservation is an important issue of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) today. Deeply rooted characteristics of land use in rural areas can be affected by food and land-market changes as well as by specific policy decisions. Forests are an important part of rural landscape: their role in environment preservation as well as in supply of space for recreation and in economic development is well appreciated. This study aims to assess the contribution of forests in the monetary evaluation of the rural landscape. A Choice Experiment (CE) model is applied in order to estimate the value of each landscape attribute (presence of vineyards, grazing and forests) in Gallura, which is located in the north-eastern side of Sardinia (Italy). The estimated median willingness to pay (WTP) for preserving the forest is significantly higher than the amounts recorded for vineyards and grazing lands. Some policy arguments suggested by these findings are discussed.
Keywords: Choice Experiment, rural landscape, rural and environmental policies, forestry economics and estimation
Jel Code: Q23, Q51, Q56