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Exploring How Land Tenure Affects Farmers’ Landscape Values: Evidence from a Choice Experiment

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIES-UNAM), Morelia C.P. 58190, Mexico
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Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CIGA-UNAM), Morelia C.P. 58190, Mexico
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Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara (CU Costa Sur-UDG), Autlán C.P. 48900, Mexico
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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), México D.F. C.P. 03100, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114321
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Values play an important role in farmers’ land management decisions, becoming increasingly relevant when designing environmental policy. One key element that influences farming decisions is the land tenure under which farmers and their land are embedded, which represents different sets of rights for farmers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to elicit farmers’ values regarding the social and ecological attributes of the landscape, and determine how these values vary according to differences in land rights. We performed this exercise in the two most important land tenure systems in rural Mexico. We carried out a choice experiment to understand preferences for different landscape attributes such as vegetation cover, surface water, terrain slope, and type of property. Then, we probed how these preferences change according to the land rights that farmers hold. We found that surface water was consistently the most important landscape attribute. However, there were clear differences that were related to land rights for some values, such as for example, vegetation cover. Institutional mechanisms such as boundary rules and conflicting values are part of the explanation of these differences. These results provide a bridge to understanding farmers’ management decisions, and in the future, improving sustainable development. View Full-Text
Keywords: ejidos; agrarian communities; Jalisco coast; natural resources; management decisions; stated preferences ejidos; agrarian communities; Jalisco coast; natural resources; management decisions; stated preferences
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Monroy-Sais, S.; García-Frapolli, E.; Mora, F.; Skutsch, M.; Casas, A.; Gerritsen, P.R.W.; González-Jiménez, D. Exploring How Land Tenure Affects Farmers’ Landscape Values: Evidence from a Choice Experiment. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4321.

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