Assessment of the Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) for Forest Resources Conservation in Imo State, Nigeria

Abstract

"Dwindling appropriation to the forestry sub-sector has necessitated alternative finance mechanisms for sustainable forest service in developing and developed societies. Studies on Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) for forest service and nature conservation among households was conducted in a rural (Ekeugba forest community) and semi-urban (Obinze community with no forest reserve therein) regions of Imo State, SE Nigeria. A hundred sets of questionnaire were administered to households in these communities to assess willingness levels, acceptable amounts payable by the above households and likely factors which influence WTP which latter was analyzed using multiple regression at p<0.05. In the results, low percentage of WTP (14%) was recorded for the forest community who derived an average of about N4,391:81 per month/household from forest service while 30% WTP was obtained from semi-urban community who correspondingly derived an average of about N1,610:36 from forest service per month/household. Acceptable payment signified by these households was N394/month/household for semi-urban community and N100/month/household for rural forest community which reflects 24% and 2% respectively of the above income derivative from forest utility. The more educated (education: p=0.005) and the more married that household members are (marital status: p=0.042), the more willing they are to pay for forest service/conservation in their area in the result, location (urban: p= 0.006) influenced individual's perception and thinking about natural resources. Urbanism with its associated spate of socialization, administrative structure and influence tends to add impetus to influence individual thinking and perception about development."

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Keywords

forests, urban affairs

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