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Tropical forest conservation: Attitudes and preferences

Baranzini, Andrea, Faust, Anne-Kathrin, Huberman, David
Forest policy and economics 2010 v.12 no.5 pp. 370-376
tropical forests, habitat conservation, ecosystem services, natural resources conservation, deforestation, biodiversity, contingent valuation, willingness to pay, citizen participation, carbon sequestration, community service, indigenous peoples, educational status, household income, taxes, socioeconomic status, socioeconomics, social benefit, socioeconomic development, social marketing
This paper applies contingent valuation to assess public awareness of tropical deforestation, to investigate the willingness to pay (WTP) to conserve tropical forests, and to determine the impact of the payment vehicle on the stated WTP of a sample of about 500 individuals in Geneva, Switzerland. About ¾ of respondents state that they have already heard about tropical deforestation and biodiversity. People rank carbon storage as the most important contribution of tropical forests, followed by biodiversity and support to local communities. The mean stated WTP is about CHF 110.- per year. All other things being equal, the stated WTP is about 24% higher for a tax payment vehicle compared to a voluntary payment. Education and income have a positive impact on WTP. WTP is also higher when the respondents judge that the main contribution of tropical forests is towards biodiversity.