Choice Modeling and Its Potential Application to Ecosystem Management and Preservation: Taking Ejina Banner as an Example

  • 1. Department of Geography, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, CAREERI, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    3. Scientific Information Center for Resources and Environment, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    4. State Key Laboratory of Arid Agroecology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received date: 2002-12-18

  Revised date: 2003-03-11

  Online published: 2003-05-25

Supported by

he Knowledge Innovation Project for Science and Technology of Northwest Normal University, No.NWNU-KJCXGC-02-20; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40235053; No.40201019


Comparison to contingent valuation method, choice models can provide a wealth of information on the willingness of respondents to make trade-offs between the individual attributes and their likely responses to different product circumstances. The need for an assessment of the non-market benefits of preservation of Ejina Banner's ecosystem is clear. In this paper, we take it as a case to analyze the value of individual environmental attribute and aggregate changes of preservation ecosystem service. Obtaining accurate benefit estimates using CM requires detailed descriptions of the alternative use of resource. In our experiment, the results of focus group sessions indicated that the framing goals and the issue of interest can be described with five key attributes: water rates, oasis area, water quality, animal type and animal number. The attribute levels have been selected by the preservation and developing goal. The fractional factor and the blocking of the orthogonal experimental design were used to combine various attribute levels and presented to respondents as choice sets. As a line with contingent valuation method, we used a 12-page paper with maps depicting the reason why Ejina Banner's ecosystem needed preservation, by which means the ecosystem services could be restored from their current level and some choice problems. We designed the questionnaire along with the survey booklet distributing to 1000 households in the Heihe drainage basin from July to August, 2002. At the same time, a multi nominal logit model was employed to estimate the welfare of protecting Ejina Banner's ecosystem. Results from 1000 replies indicate that the estimation of willingness to pay for a change in one of the choice attributes, and aggregate value of various scenarios have been calculated according to the estimated indirect utility function. Finally, we put forward some suggestions on how to apply the choice models in developing countries, and believe future efforts can be made to apply CM efficiently accompanied with benefit-cost analysis.

Cite this article

XU Zhongmin, ZHANG Zhiqiang, LONG Aihua, CHENG Dongjing, GONG Zengtai, SU Zhiyong, ZHANG Bo, SHI Huichun . Choice Modeling and Its Potential Application to Ecosystem Management and Preservation: Taking Ejina Banner as an Example[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2003 , 58(3) : 398 -405 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200303009


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