Willingness to Pay for the Ecosystem Conservation: The Case of Lake Hora, Bishoftu, Ethiopia
Keywords:Bishoftu, Contingent valuation, double bounded, Ecosystem services, Willingness to Pay
Lakes provide considerable social, economic, and ecological benefits to society. However, they are shrinking and declining due to anthropogenic factors and land use changes, particularly in developing countries. Despite this, information regarding the socio-economic and ecological impacts of the lake level reduction and communities’ willingness to pay for its conservation programs is lacking. This study employed a contingent valuation method to estimate willingness to pay for the conservation of Lake Hora, Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The primary data were collected from 203 randomly selected sampled households through face-to-face interviews. A double bounded dichotomous choice format was used to elicit the household’s willingness to pay. Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, and percentages were used to describe sample respondents in terms of some desirable variables. Bivariate probit and probit models were also applied to estimate the mean willingness to pay and to determine factors affecting willingness to pay, respectively. Results of the study showed that most respondents (74.5%) were WTP for the conservation of the ecosystem of the lake. The bivariate probit model result shows that the total willingness to pay was computed at 2,180,706 ETB ($47,811.13) per annum. Furthermore, the results of the probit model revealed that age awareness on ecosystem service, occupation, education, marital status, age, and income have positive and significant effects on WTP while the amount of initial bid and satisfaction have a negative and significant effect. Hence, researchers and government should target those socio-economic variables in conserving and restoring the lake’s ecosystem services at the household level.
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