Valuing ecosystem services of Sundarbans Mangrove forest: Approach of choice experiment
This study examines the marginal willingness-to-pay (MWTP) and compensating surplus (CS) in response to the policy change of ecosystem services of Sundarbans based on focus group discussion (FGD) and survey. The choice experiment approach (CE) was conducted in seven villages of Sundarbans of Bangladesh to elicit stated preference data and measure MWTP and CS. Each respondent faced three options in every choice card-two hypothetical alternatives and one status quo scheme. Four ecosystem services-payment for ecosystem services, fish, shrimp larvae, and crab capture from canals and creeks, leaves, grasses and twigs collection, and fruits and honey collection are used to design choice cards. The findings suggest that age, income, education, family composition, and occupational status are the influential factors to choice the relevant attributes of ecosystem services. Respondents would like to pay more Tk. 0.015 in option 1, Tk. 0.086 in option 2 and Tk. 0.329 in option 3 for ecosystem services. With these MWTP, they get more surplus-Tk. 0.551 in option 3. The subsequent surplus will be estimated Tk. 0.105 in option 2 and Tk. 0.078 in option 1. The lower MWTP does not necessarily imply low demand for ecosystem services, as the findings from MWTP illustrate potential demand for ecosystem services of Sundarbans.