Tourists' Willingness to Pay for Restoration of Traditional Agro-forest Ecosystems Providing Biodiversity: Evidence from India
Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 159, issue C, 362-372
Conservation of existing remnants of tropical forests outside protected areas remains a major challenge because of developmental pressures. It is likely that, as forests outside of protected areas disappear, the pressure on protected areas will grow. Thus, it is important to conserve biodiversity outside protected areas, at least as buffers for protected areas, a conservation practice enshrined in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for the 2011–2020 period. We designed a contingent valuation study to value the restoration of native trees on coffee plantations in the Kodagu district of Karnataka in India. Our study includes a sample of 1029 respondents who visited these sites. The survey was conducted using a pretested questionnaire to collect data from tourists between January and June 2016. We found that visitors derive positive benefits from the restoration of native tree species that form a dense tree-like ecosystem providing refuge for biodiversity not only on coffee plantations but also in adjoining protected areas. Visitors were willing to pay an average 187 Indian Rupees (INR) for the restoration program. The total estimated value for the restoration of native tree species is INR 47 million per annum. Thus, there is scope to collect and mobilize tourist revenue for the restoration program. We propose, in concurrence with local stakeholders, an institutional mechanism to generate and transfer the increased revenue from the surcharge to the coffee-growers to implement the proposed program.
Keywords: Contingent Valuation; Willingness to Pay; Direct Payments; Biodiversity Conservation; Restoration Program (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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