Patriotic values for public goods: Transnational trade-offs for biodiversity and ecosystem services

The natural environment is central to human well-being through its role in ecosystem service (ES) provision. Managing ES often requires coordination across international borders. Although this may deliver greater conservation gains than countries acting alone, we do not know whether the public supports such an international approach. Using the same questionnaire in three countries, we quantified public preferences for ES in home countries and across international borders. In all three countries, the people were generally willing to pay for ES. However, our results show that there is a limit to the extent that environmental goods can be considered global. ES with a use element (habitat conservation, landscape preservation) attracted a patriotic premium, such that the people were willing to pay significantly more for locally delivered services. Supranational management of ES needs to be balanced against the preferences that people have for services delivered in their home countries.