ECONOMIC VALUATION OF MINED LAND RECLAMATION: AN APPLICATION OF INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL COST METHOD IN GREECE
1st International Scientific Conference - SGEM2001, www.sgem.org, SGEM2001 Conference Proceedings/ ISBN: 954-918181-2, June 3-9, 2001, 421- 422pp
ABSTRACT/Full article not available/
During last decades a systematic effort is being carried out to assign monetary values on environmental assets. Environmental valuation methods namely the Contingent Valuation, the Travel Cost and the Hedonic Pricing are now well established approaches of benefit assessment. Yet, they have been little applied in relation to mining reclamation schemes. As a result, financial analysis is limited to monetary value derived from construction costs and revenues from commercial utilization of the site, e.g. when the area is used for the disposal of waste materials, for the location of industrial units, etc.
Rehabilitation of mined land, as public open recreation sites or green space, offers certain advantages in terms of environmental enchancement and social welfare, especially when the mining site is located nearby urban areas. Therefore, monetary benefit measurement derived by the visitors of the rehabilitated site is an essential part of any social Cost-benefit Analysis of a reclamation scheme, since it can provide useful input into decision-making process.
The Individual Travel Cost Method is one of the most commonly applicable methods to evaluate recreational benefits of open-access sites, where visitors do not have to pay an entrance fee for using the area. The method uses observations on the amount of travel expenditure and travel time to estimate the overall travel cost. This allows a demand equation to be estimated from which a measure of the recreational value of the site in question can be derived.
The paper presents an application of the method in the context of a case study of the "P. Viaropoulos" abandoned quarry site in Athens, Greece. There are several points of particular interest in the study and the results, since: (a) it is the first application of the method in a mining issue, (b) the method has generally limited applicability in the urban setting, (c) the method is ordinarily applied in an ex ante analysis and (d) the Monte Carlo method is used to quantify the uncertainty derived by the annual number of the visitors, the actual travel cost and the consumer surplus. The findings indicate that the environmental and social benefits of reclamation exceed its private costs and can be of importance to mining operators, policy-makers and environmental valuation practitioners.
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