Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban ecosystem is under considerable pressure due to rapid urban sprawl and high direct dependency on the natural ecosystem. But the value of nature conservation or restoration is poorly understood. The current paper reports the results of an investigation of willingness to pay for nature restoration and conservation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. To account for preference and scale heterogeneity a menu of models - random parameter logit, generalised multinomial and latent class model - with varying assumptions are employed. Findings are that the marginal WTP is highest in relation to forests, where WTP is between TSH88- and TSH331, (US$0.04 – US$0.17) depending on the estimation model. This is followed by WTP for restoration and conservation of rivers, the value of which is TSH5-TSH53 (US$0 – US$0.03). The value placed on conservation of coasts is TSH2-TSH23 (US$0 – US$0.01). The low value placed on nature restoration and conservation by residents in the city of Dar es Salaam open up policy dialogue on the importance of nature in cities amidst rapid urbanization in the region. The figures also cast doubt on the potential for generating revenue to finance green infrastructure from the residents of cities in developing countries. The maximum revenue that can be collected ranges from US$43650 for coasts and US$743050 for forests. Lack of environmental awareness and concern translates into environmentally unsustainable behaviour in cities such as starting of veldt fires, deforestation, wetland conversion, stream bank cultivation and littering of beaches. Our results suggest the need for massive awareness campaigns to sensitize the city’s residents about different attributes of nature and their value in provision of ecosystems goods and services to charge their perceptions and attitudes.
Keywords: choice modelling, WTP, conservation, restoration, forests, rivers, coasts, heterogeneity, Tanzania