عنوان مقاله [English]
Background and objectives:
Forests play a significant role for human’s well being. Economists’ attention is mostly drawn on the market value of (certain) forest products. The trend, however, is changing as non-market values of forests are increasingly appreciated and measured. Recently, the ecosystem value of natural resources has been studied by natural resource economists and its role on human welfare is ensured. These studies had made a considerable progress in valuation of environmental and ecological services, which was offered by ecosystems. There are different methods assessing environmental economy based on revealed and stated preference for measure of environmental values. The subjects of this research are the determination of recreational value of Ghorogh Forest Park and measure of individual’s willingness to pay (WTP) based on contingent valuation (CV) and dichotomous choice (DC).
Materials and methods:
Various approaches may be used in environmental economics to measure environmental values; these may be divided into revealed and stated preference methods. Revealed preference methods are based on how individuals actually behave, whereas stated preference methods are based on how individuals say they would behave in a hypothetical situation. In this study, we were interested in assessing the value of forest recreational to the public, measured in terms of whether people would be willing to pay towards forest recreational. The logit model was used for measuring individuals WTP. This study utilizes the DC questionnaire to measure the individual’s WTP in the CV surveys. The single-bounded dichotomous choice approach was first employed by Bishop and Heberlein (1979). It involves assigning a single bid from a range of predetermined bids that potentially reflect the maximum WTP amounts of the respondents for a particular good. The double-bounded dichotomous choice questionnaire, therefore, was designed for acquiring individual WTP to determine the existence value for Ghorogh Forest Park. This questionnaire for interviews was carefully designed to provide respondents with adequate and accurate information, making them fully aware of the hypothetical market situation. This information from the CV questionnaire was intended not only to help them reveal their true values as accurately as possible, but also to reduce the rate of rejection from the respondents. Estimation parameters of the model are based on the method of maximum likelihood (ML).
Results: Results showed that variables of visiting first, other purposes of travel, education, income, gender and bidmount are effective factors in WTP. The mean of WTP for recreational value of this rangeland is 6416 Rial that represents a very important recreational resource for visitors.
Conclusion: Also, results revealed that forest parks had considerable recreational values. Thus, these values provide enough justification for policy makers to maintain the quality of forest park, and avoid degrading forest resources.