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The economic value of insurance services of biodiversity in the Hainich National Park region

Insurance effects contribute to the stability of ecological functions and therewith to the provision of ecosystem services in regard to changing environmental conditions (Yachi und Loreau 1999). Ecosystem services are goods and services provided by biodiversity, the ecosystems respectively that generate direct or indirect benefits to the society (e.g. provision of timber, climate regulation, water storage). From an economic point of view, investments in biodiversity conservation are an profitable insurance for the society depending on functioning ecosystems. Using the choice experiment method, we investigate empirically whether the local population is willing to pay for the conservation of deciduous forests in its role as protection against risks.