Economic value of cedar relics in Lebanon: An application of contingent valuation method for conservation
The cedar forests in Lebanon give shelter to a rich biodiversity and they constitute important mountainous relic habitats harboring a wide range of endemic, rare and threatened species, and species with economic potential. These forests, once covering the Eastern and Western mountain chains, have been the providers of quality timber for the region in historical times. The ancient practices have left the country with only 12 forest relics distributed on the Mount Lebanon chain. Even though recognized worldwide as flagship species and sites of cultural, religious and historical values, these forests have attracted limited international funds for their conservation. These funds proved not to be sustainable for long-term conservation plans; therefore a system for securing local funds for the protection of cedar forest is needed. In this context, this research study was designed having three main objectives which are firstly to illustrate the differences in the value of cedar forests between citizens and villagers, users and non-users. Secondly to identify the best ways to collect local funds and design other tools (involving for example public participation) needed in setting out a sound strategy for the conservation of the cedar forests. Thirdly to use the findings of this study as a tool to investigate in further studies and to inform and influence decision makers about the importance of a long-term conservation and sustainable use program as well as to consider a strategic approach for its sustainable use. Using an open-ended questionnaire, contingent valuation method is applied to highlight the importance of well informed population, to obtain the Willingness to Pay (WTP) for a scenario to conserve cedar forests in Lebanon; to increase their surface areas; to promote sustainable activities and to explore the degree of importance of their attributes and of the option, bequest and existence values as perceived by the Lebanese population. The WTP is tested by using a regression model relating WTP to all socio-demographic variables. The questionnaires (416) were performed in three main cities in Lebanon and in villages surrounding two nature reserves. The difference in the individual WTP value for users and non-users was approximately US$20 per household for both villagers and city dwellers. The frequency of the zero WTP value was higher for non-users. The results obtained encouraged a national initiative to create a national trust fund and to integrate symbolic fees on the amenity services associated with cedar forests. Â© 2006.
|Título según WOS:||Economic value of cedar relics in Lebanon: An application of contingent valuation method for conservation|
|Título según SCOPUS:||Economic value of cedar relics in Lebanon: An application of contingent valuation method for conservation|
|Título de la Revista:||Ecological Economics|
|Editorial:||ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV|
|Fecha de publicación:||2007|
|Página de inicio:||315|