9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN12 Environment and Society

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Social and Economic Functions of Nature Building I, Auditório 4

How much does it cost?

For a valuation of natural landscape sustainability in agrarian regions and in conditions of a varying social and economic situation it is important to estimate three kinds of development factors (or, speaking economic language, - kinds of the capital): human, physical, natural. If first two kinds of the capital and their contribution to the general sustainability are well enough studied in the theory and in practice the system analysis of the natural capital is insufficient. In many respects it is connected with underestimation by the economic theory of the natural capital both in the world, and in the country. One function of the natural capital - resource support (the ground, water, a wood, etc.) is usually considered only. Such approach essentially underestimates an value of region natural potential. As show last researches in this area in the world, alongside with the first function, it is important to estimate at least three more functions: 2) ecosystem (ecological) services on maintenance of ecological sustainability, 3) "spiritual" services of the nature (aesthetic, cultural, historical, ethical, etc. aspects), 4) maintenance of population health.

It is obvious, that the potential of Russian northern agrarian regions on maintenance of all four functions is huge. For an economic estimation of these functions it is possible to use various economic methods. In particular, the approach "willingness to pay", closely connected with sociological researches is perspective. Here use of the techniques connected from a various sort of cost approaches, methods of "travel cost", "hedonic pricing", etc. By expert estimations a number of areas of the Kostroma area of Russia seasonal "pendulum" migration makes 30-50% from a population of district. These visitors annually spend significant money (purchase, construction and maintenance of houses, purchase of the foodstuffs and the goods, transport charges and so forth) for satisfaction of the needs for recreational and "spiritual" services of the nature, maintenance of health and so forth. That is conservation of the nature and its "not agricultural" functions have real and very high economic estimation.