Willingness to pay for church forest conservation: a case study in northwestern Ethiopia

https://doi.org/10.17221/154/2019-JFSCitation:Endalew B., Wondimagegnhu B.A., Tassie K. (2020): Willingness to pay for church forest conservation: a case study in northwestern Ethiopia. J. For. Sci., 66: 105-116.
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Church forests provide a safe habitat for plants and animals, sources of food and traditional medicine, seed bank for native tree species, reduce soil erosion and rich in biodiversity. But the economic values of these important benefits of church forests were not well documented. Therefore, this study was conducted to estimate the mean and total willingness to pay for church forest conservation using open-ended and double bounded contingent valuation formats. In doing so, both cash and labour contributions were used to measure the respondents’ willingness to pay. Primary data were collected from 300 randomly selected households and analyzed using descriptive statistics and bivariate probit model. The estimated mean willingness to pay from the double bounded format (239.79 Ethiopian Birr) is higher than from the open-ended format (178 Ethiopian Birr). Similarly, the estimated mean willingness to contribute labour was also 71.51 and 94.34 man-days for the open-ended and double bounded contingent valuation format, respectively. The comparison indicated that the mean and total willingness to pay from the double bounded format is higher than in the open-ended format. Therefore, researchers, policymakers, and forestry experts should give special attention to the double bounded format rather than to the open-ended format to elicit respondents’ willingness to pay for the conservation of church forests.

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