WIT Press


Modelling The Value Of Wetlands In The Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, Using Community Preferences

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ECO110031

Volume

144

Pages

13

Page Range

27 - 39

Published

2011

Size

2,818 kb

Author(s)

F. Mombo, S. Speelman, D. Phillip & G. van Huylenbroeck

Abstract

Wetland degradation has recently received considerable attention in research. Although wetlands are valuable ecosystems, their actual value is difficult to measure because the services they provide do not have market values. The current study tries to define the value of wetlands in the Kilombero Valley, central Tanzania. Choice modelling is used to determine communities’ preferences over wetland conditions associated with various management options. The results show that the inhabitants of the Kilombero Valley desire improvements in the wetland’s conditions, suggesting that the ongoing degradation is not socially optimal. Local farmers are however highly dependent on the wetland for their livelihood. In order to reduce pressure on wetlands, it is therefore necessary and imperative to explore the options of alternative income generating activities and the application of proper technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness in crop production. Keywords: wetlands, choice modelling, valuation and willingness to pay. 1 Introduction In recent years, degradation of wetlands has received considerable attention in research. While in the past, wetlands were mostly neglected because they were considered as marginal areas, authors like Fischer [1] and Turner et al. [2] have recognized their importance. Wetlands play a unique role as ecosystem and provide diverse services to communities such as climate regulation, flood control and provision of food and fiber. To preserve the functions played by wetlands a sustainable management is of paramount importance. One of the prerequisites for

Keywords

wetlands, choice modelling, valuation and willingness to pay