Non-use value: bequest value and existence value

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Bequest value and existence value

A non-use value (feel good or warm glow) is a value associated that does not concern our use, either direct or indirect, of the environment, its resources or services. Bequest value: The current generation places value on ensuring the availability of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to future generations. This is determined by a person’s concern that future generations should have access to resources and opportunities. It indicates a perception of benefit from the knowledge that resources and opportunities are being passed to descendants[1].

Existence value: This is the benefit, often reflected as a sense of well being, of simply knowing marine biodiversity exists, even if it is never utilised or experienced, people simply derive benefit from the knowledge of its existence (Hageman, 1985[2]; Loomis and White, 1996[3]). The considerable importance which the wider public attach to maintaining diverse marine life is revealed through their interest in marine based media presentations, such as the ‘‘Blue Planet’’. For example, articles on cold water corals frequently appear in the media, despite the fact the majority of the general public will never see a cold water coral, they are interested in them and benefit from their existence.

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See also


  1. Beaumont, N.J.; Austen, M.C.; Atkins, J.P.; Burdon, D.; Degraer, S.; Dentinho, T.P.; Derous, S.; Holm, P.; Horton, T.; van Ierland, E.; Marboe, A.H.; Starkey, D.J.; Townsend, M.; Zarzycki, T. (2007). Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 54(3): 253-265
  2. Hageman, R., 1985. Valuing Marine Mammal Populations: Benefit Valuations in a Multi-species Ecosystem. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Centre, La Jolla, California, 1985. pp. 88.
  3. Loomis, J.B., White, D.S., 1996. Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis. Ecological Economics 183, 197–206