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Perception of Forest Values in the Alpine Community of Trentino Region (Italy)

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Values are generally defined as social facts that orientate individual and collective actions, and consequently influence political, economic and social systems. The evaluation of natural resource values is considered an important instrument to support decision making in environmental policy. The forest is an important renewable resource that provides a mix of social, economic and environmental values for society. The paper presents a survey method to collect and analyse individual preferences relating to three macro-categories of forest values. The survey method was tested in the Trentino region (north-east of the Italian Alps) and will soon be extended to other areas. The results of the questionnaires provided evidence that the forest economic value is perceived as least important, while the environmental values were appreciated the most. Regarding the principle social variables, males tended to give higher scores to all three macro-categories compared to females. Moreover, people with a low education also gave higher scores to all three categories in comparison to the more educated individuals.

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The research was carried out within the National Project Ri.Selv.Italia (Subproject 4.2 —Forest Planning) at the Ecology Laboratory of the University of Trent: funding for this project was provided by Ministry of agriculture and forests. The authors contributed to this study and paper in equal parts.

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Correspondence to Fabrizio Ferretti.

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Paletto, A., Maino, F., De Meo, I. et al. Perception of Forest Values in the Alpine Community of Trentino Region (Italy). Environmental Management 51, 414–422 (2013).

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