Sand dunes management: a comparative analysis of ecological versus economic valuations applied to the Coastal region in Israel

Pua Bar, Nir Becker, Meira Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Mobile coastal dunes are of significant ecological importance both globally and locally. Yet a large portion of these dunes are disappearing due to encroachment of local shrubs and exotic plants, resulting in changes of floristic and faunal composition, and an overall decrease in biodiversity of coastal systems. Active management is therefore required to maintain mobile dune presence. This study focuses on economic valuation of coastal dunes in Israel, based on public and professional ecological perspectives. This comparison allows reflection on the suitability of a contingent valuation method (CVM) to assess ecological restoration and conservation projects. The CVM was applied in Nizzanim LTER nature reserve in Israel, and concurrently, data of plant species composition on stabilized and mobile dunes were used to calculate the ecological value index (EVI) of the different dune states. The EVI was then transformed into monetary terms by combining the public valuation and the relative proportion of the various species to the total coverage. The monetary values derived from the general public and the ecological assessment were then compared and used to estimate the expected change in economic value resulting from a state shift from mobile to stabilized dunes. According to the CVM, the total value of the Nizzanim coastal dunes would drop from 344 to 197 million Israeli Shekels (NIS) (1 Shekel = $0.39) if active management does not take place, a reduction of 42 % in value. However, results from the EVI indicate only a 33 % decrease in ecological value (in monetary terms) in the absence of active management. We suggest that in this case, general public perception is strong enough to justify conservation decisions, even though they are not professional ecologists. However, we still recommend the use of both measures for land use decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-950
Number of pages10
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Conservation
  • Contingent valuation method
  • Dune stabilization
  • Ecological value
  • Economic valuation
  • Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change


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