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Economic valuation of biodiversity in South Asia: The case of Dachigam National Park in Jammu and Kashmir (India)

Mohammad Younus Bhat and Mohammad Sultan Bhatt

Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, 2019, vol. 6, issue 1, 59-72

Abstract: Biodiversity needs our attention because humans receive a wide range of direct and indirect benefits. Valuation of biodiversity is important to establish the importance of use and non‐use values of biological resources and cost of ignoring them. Against this backdrop, the aim of this study is to capture the recreational value of the national park biodiversity while employing travel cost method. To this end, the value of the economic benefits generated by sustainable management of Dachigam National Park in Jammu and Kashmir (India) is estimated using data from 301 visitors from different parts of the country. Data are analysed using count data models, and results reveal that travel cost method is suitable for valuation of various use values generated by environmental resources such as national parks. Estimated results show that consumer surplus per visitor per visit in present study is equal to Rs. 12,470 (US$197), which translates into an annual monetary recreational value of about Rs. 247,614,828 (approximately US$3,930,395). Demand for tourism services is also found to be fairly insensitive to travel cost/price. Therefore, an increase in entry fee and redistribution of proceeds can improve the physical and financial management of the park.

Date: 2019
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