Sunday, February 14, 2016

An Economic Valuation of Coastal Ecosystems in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Conserving mangroves and coral reefs has become an increasingly important topic of public debate in developing countries like Thailand. This is particularly important to the mangroves and coral reefs in areas such as Phang Nga Bay, a bay along the coast of the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, and Krabi, Thailand. This study estimated the economic value of the changes to the quality of the mangroves and coral reefs ecosystems in Phang Nga Bay by using a choice experiment to value the economic impacts of the changes to the quality of coastal ecosystems in Phang Nga Bay. The welfare estimate indicates a willingness to pay (WTP) of THB 1133 (USD 28) per year for improved diversity of flora and fauna. Local livelihood (e.g., income from fishery) and ecological function (e.g., flood protection benefits) are tied as the second most important attributes of Phang Nga Bay. The rare and endangered species attribute is held as the least important attribute of Phang Nga Bay. The aggregate benefits were computed by multiplying the number of people in the beneficiary groups with the welfare estimate of improving Phang Nga Bay ecosystem—THB 2263 (USD 57) per person—yielding THB 5784 million (USD 144.6 million) per year.
by Udomsak Seenprachawong
Chapter in Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Valuation, Institutions, and Policy in Southeast Asia
pages 71-91; February 4, 2016
Keywords: Economic valuation Coastal ecosystem Choice experiment Entrance fee Thailand

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