Examination of Agricultural Land Conservation in the Alberta Capital Region, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Wang, Haoluan
  • The Alberta Capital Region is experiencing rapid population growth, economic development, and conversion of agricultural land into alternative land uses. As a result, some of the province’s most productive agricultural land has been converted. However, little is known about what values are being gained and lost as a result of agricultural land conversion. This three-part thesis seeks to examine the agricultural land conservation in the study area.
    Using remote sensing data, the first part assesses the extent of land use and land cover changes in the Alberta Capital Region from 2000 and 2012, with a focus on agricultural land conversion. To provide the context of the implementation of agricultural land conservation programs, associated land use policies and land management tools are also reviewed. The second part involves a choice experiment survey that was developed to estimate the nonmarket values (i.e., willingness to pay) for agricultural land conservation in the region. Data were collected through a rigorous design procedure that included expert and public focus groups, pre-tests, pilot study, and full launch. Several model specifications were adopted to allow for heterogeneity, and benefit estimates were calculated accordingly. The third part of this thesis presents an analysis of the optimal use of financial resources for agricultural land conservation, using nonmarket benefits and market costs in the Alberta Capital Region. The performance and efficiency of four targeting tools that have been widely used for various conservation programs are compared. Applications are to both urban and rural settings in the Alberta Capital Region. Results from this section provided empirical support for future policymaking regarding agricultural land conservation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.