Willingness to Pay for the Conservation of Lake Chamo Ecosystem, Ethiopia
Lake Chamo ecosystem is an important reserve area for plants, animals and microbial communities that used to ensure the existence of biodiversity in a harmony. But currently, it is highly threatened by human activities that is already causing considerable ecological problems. Community based conservation method is considered as a remedy. This study was therefore conducted in three kebeles, namely Zeyse Elgo, Zeyse Wezeka, and Genta Kanchama Ochole in Arba Minch Zuria wereda using interview method with structured and semi-structured questionnaires to generate primary data, and find out the willingness of beneficiaries to pay for a hypothetically prepared conservation plan of Lake Chamo ecosystem and the factors that triggers respondents to decide on their willingness to pay (WTP). Results indicated that the mean WTP was found to be 2.04 ETB (Ethiopian Birr)/month/household, with an aggregate benefit of 775,980.99 ETB per year for the wereda. Majority (94.6%) of the respondents voted for the hypothetically planed conservation activities. Seven important factors were identified and their impacts on WTP were studied with logistic regression analysis. Two of the variables i.e., the concerns of respondents about the needs of future generations and ages of the respondents were found to be statistically significant in influencing the probability of WTP for the conservation of the Lake Chamo ecosystem. Total community based ecosystem management that balances conservation, economic and social needs was considered as a fast remedy for the current problems in the study area.
Willingness to Pay, Contingent Valuation Method, Lake Chamo, Ecosystem Conservation
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