Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (1): 107-116.doi: 10.11821/xb200201012

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Measuring the Total Economic Value of Restoring Ejina Banner's Ecosystem Services

XU Zhong-min1,2, ZHANG Zhi-qiang1, CHENG Guo-dong1, SU Zhi-yong2, LU An-xin1, LIN Qing1, ZHANG Hai-tao2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, CAREERI, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Arid Agroecology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2001-07-26 Revised:2001-09-25 Online:2002-01-25 Published:2002-01-25
  • Supported by:

    The Innovation Project of CAS., No.KZCX1-09-04 and No.KZCX1-10-03

Abstract:

The contingent valuation method (CVM) is a direct interview approach that can be used to provide acceptable measures of the economic value of preservation of natural resources. While the estimates from CVM may not be perfect, neither are estimates from any other economic or physical science model. The need for an assessment of the nonmarket benefits of restoring Ejina Banner's ecosystem is clear. In this paper, we take it as a case to analyze the WTP of restoring ecosystem service. Obtaining accurate benefit estimates using CVM requires detailed descriptions of the resource being valued. In our survey, we use a 12-page paper with maps depicting the reason why Ejina Banner ecosystem deteriorated, the means by which ecosystem services could be restoring from their current level. The actual valuation portion of the survey has three elements: (1) portrayal of the resources to be valued, (2) description of the particular mechanism to be used to pay for the resource; and (3) the question format used to elicit the respondent's money amount of willingness to pay. Due to concern over the influence of institutional and culture setting, the method of payment we adopted is payment cards in the survey. We employed a parametric model to estimate the welfare of restoring Ejina ecosystem. Their functional relationships between WTP values and the characteristics of responses are built respectively. Results from 700 in-person interviews indicate that per household would pay an average of RMB 37.96 yuan per year, US$ 40.15 for the main river household, 32.10 yuan for the rest of the Heihe basin. The aggregate benefit to residents of the Heihe basin is 15.98 million yuan annually for 20 years. Taking into account the ecosystem discount rate, the aggregated benefit of restoring Ejina Banner ecosystem is 1637 million yuan. These estimates suggest that the general public in Heihe valley would be willing to pay for restoring the Ejina banner ecosystem. Finally, we put forward some suggestions on how to apply the contingent valuation method in developing countries, and believe future efforts may apply CVM efficiently accompanying with benefit-cost analysis.

Key words: contingent valuation method, willingness to pay, ecosystem restoring, economic value, Ejina banner