PurposeForests support human livelihoods and mitigate against climate change, yet they are at a risk of irreversible loss due to high degradation rates. The success of forest conservation mechanisms depends on involvement and support by forest dependent communities. In this paper, the authors assess forest dependent household's willingness to pay (WTP) labour or cash for a conservation programme seeking to restore degraded forestland in Mount Elgon Forest, Kenya.Design/methodology/approachData were collected from 919 households in Mt Elgon forest reserve, Kenya. A double bounded contingent valuation approach was used to examine households' WTP and an ordered probit model to estimate the determinants of WTP.FindingsThe findings of the study show a higher WTP for conservation through labour days (12 days/month, equivalent to 1800 KES/month) compared to cash (KES 450/month). Forest dependence has a significant influence on households' willingness to support conservation activities. A higher WTP was observed amongst households with higher vulnerability (high shocks value, low asset value and those in the poorest wealth categories) implying that they are more willing to contribute for forest conservation.Originality/valueWhile emerging literature on WTP for forest conservation is growing, few studies have paid attention on the influence of forest dependence on WTP for forest conservation. There are limited studies on use of in-kind contribution as a payment vehicle for WTP. The study's findings show a high WTP in form of labour suggesting the importance of embracing in-kind contribution as a mechanism of supporting forest conservation in contexts of developing countries.
Sustainable Development Goals
Waruingi, E., Ateka, J., Mbeche, R., & Herrmann, R. (2022). Understanding the nexus between forest dependence and willingness to pay for forest conservation: case of forest dependent households in Kenya. Forestry Economics Review. https://doi.org/10.1108/fer-02-2022-0003