How much do Europeans value biodiversity?
Biodiversity is an intangible asset essential for ecosystem function and human wellbeing. The European Union is at the forefront of biodiversity management and policy implementation and has set ambitious strategies to better protect biodiversity and lead achievement of global biodiversity goals. However, biodiversity management entails balancing a range of economic and social trade-offs. A deeper understanding of society’s perception towards biodiversity, the values attached to it, and the heterogeneity around preferences for biodiversity protection and habitat maintenance is key to inform future European strategies. This report provides European-level spatially explicit estimates of biodiversity non-use value applicable in the decision-making processes and appreciates the hidden contribution of habitat and species maintenance to human wellbeing. A stated preference survey with the choice experiment was conducted in four European countries that were selected to represent a range of diverse environmental and social contexts. A European map of biodiversity values is produced via value transfer techniques. Overall, our results suggest that strengthening habitat and species maintenance policy is considered a necessity by the public. In fact, considering the aggregated amount Europeans are prepared to pay annually (30 billion Euros) for biodiversity, we can anticipate that the Post-2020 Biodiversity policy committed to an annual budget of 20 billion Euros would likely find public support.