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International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 2015 Vol. 11, No. 2, 156–167, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2015.1030693 Ecosystem services valuation for enhancing conservation and livelihoods in a sacred landscape of the Indian Himalayas Bhaskar Sinha* and Sameera Mishra Indian Institute of Forest Management, P.O. Box 357, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal 462003, India (Submitted 18 July 2012; accepted 14 March 2015; edited by Alexander van Oudenhoven) Sacred species/groves/landscapes have played an important role in conserving biodiversity based on the socio-cultural practices in different parts of the world including India. It has been observed in recent times that these sacred entities are facing degradation. The current study conducted in Hariyali sacred landscape (HSL) in Garhwal Himalayas is to evaluate and rank the ecosystem services based on people’s perceptions so that people can be sensitized about economic, ecological and cultural significance of the landscape. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was used for calculating willingness to pay (WTP) for different ecosystem services. One hundred and forty respondents were grouped into core villagers, nearby villagers and outsiders. The study revealed that local people identified six direct and seven indirect ecosystem services with HSL. The perceived benefits from all ecosystem services were ranked highest by the respondents of nearby villages. However, WTP for conservation of the landscape was lowest by them (nearby villagers). Such discrepancy between the perception and WTP is significantly attributed by the difference in education and rights related to rituals and access to resource use. A careful intervention to integrate the adjoining villages in the rights and ritual related to temple and to evolve a more transparent way to manage the funds generated from religious offerings and Government, may lead to higher participation and WTP for conserving the landscape. Keywords: sacred landscape; ecosystem services; economic valuation; people’s perception; WTP 1. Introduction the loss of biodiversity while maintaining incomes and livelihoods (Atkinson et al. 2012; Ninan et al. 2007). Ecosystem services support human life on earth, either This approach has received a great deal of attention in directly or indirectly. The survival and well-being of the recent academic literature, however, applying an eco- human depend on these ecosystem services, and therefore system services-based approach to conservation is limited maintaining and improving the health of the ecosystems is among the implementing agencies (Turner & Daily 2008; critical for sustainable supply of these services. (Costanza Bateman et al. 2011; Johnston & Russell 2011; Mace et al. et al. 1997, 2014; Daily 1997;MEA 2005). The concept of 2012). A lot of researches have been conducted on valua- ecosystem services is gaining importance among research- tion and impact of ecosystem services at a regional/global ers and policy-makers, as it is becoming a critical criterion scale (Costanza et al. 1997, 2014; Zhang 2004), however, for conservation assessments (Costanza et al. 1997; the methods of measurement differed (De yong et al. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005; Atkinson et al. 2005). In a study of global ecosystem services, the annual 2012; Bateman et al. 2013). As a result, a consistent and value of these services is US$ 16–54 trillion, with an robust means of measuring, mapping, modeling and valu- estimated average of US$33 trillion (Costanza et al. ing ecosystem services is important for decision-making 1997). This value is now revised to $125 trillion/year related to conservation at different scales (Ricketts et al. assuming updated unit values and changes to biome 2004; Chan et al. 2006; Naidoo & Ricketts 2006; Fisher & areas and $145 trillion/year assuming only unit values Turner 2008; Naidoo et al. 2008; Fisher et al. 2009). changed (Costanza et al. 2014). In India, even though Moreover, it allows meaningful comparisons of policies/ biodiversity conservation is emphasized in policy circles, programs in justifying or criticizing a particular decision there has been little attempt to put a monetary value to its regarding various ecosystem services or ecosystem of any benefits (Ninan et al. 2007). India is a mega biodiversity area, especially, in a cost–benefit framework, where trade- country, and thus, forests play an important role by pro- offs in relation to a set of decision-making alternatives are viding several ecosystem services, which are mostly unac- to be made (Binger et al. 1995; Pritchard et al. 2000; counted in economic terms (Nagaraja et al. 2010). Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005; Boyd 2007; However, there are few studies available on valuation of Boyd & Banzhaf 2007; Wallace 2007; Bateman et al. ecosystem services for a larger area, like a state or region 2013). (Verma 2000; Chopra 2002; Badola & Hussain 2005; Economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem Singh 2007; Joshi & Negi 2011). On the contrary, study services is arguably the most powerful tool for halting *Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com © 2015 Taylor & Francis International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 157 at local level ascertaining the willingness of the rural to note in the Garhwal Himalaya region, many a times an people to pay for systematic management of natural entire landscape represented by a variety of species and resources based on community perception is limited in ecosystems had been considered sacred and conserved by India (Maharana et al. 2000). Further, a recent study forbidding the use of any resource from it (Negi 2010a; showed that value of ecosystem services such as fresh 2010b; Ramakrishnan 1996). As a result, a number of water, soil nutrients and non-timber forest products sacred groves are reported from different parts of (NTFPs) of Indian forest was approximately 7% of Garhwal Himalaya (Sinha and Maikhuri 1998; Sinha national GDP, however it amounted to 57% of the et al. 2003; Anthwal et al. 2006; Sinha 2011). income of rural Indian (Sukhdev 2009). This emphasizes HSL is situated above Kodima village which is at a the need for economic valuation of ecosystem services at distance of 32 km from the nearest town Gauchar in a local level linked to a particular landscape/area. Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand (Figure 1). Three It is well recognized in India and across the globe that villages Kodima, Jasholi and Pavo form the boundary of the concept of sacred (sacred groves and landscapes) play sacred landscape as they are directly linked through the an important role in conserving the biodiversity of the rituals of the goddess Hariyali Devi. The summit of the remote and inaccessible region based on socio-cultural hill which abodes the goddess is 2850 m from mean sea belief system (Kosambi 1962; Ramakrishnan et al. 1998; level and the sacred forest cover 5.5 sq. km in area Malhotra et al. 2001; Negi 2005; Sinha 2011). In recent according to the boundary of the forest which encircles past, attenuation in belief systems owing to modernization, totally prohibited area of forest from human interference changing socio-economic conditions, education, financial (Sinha & Maikhuri 1998; Sinha 2011). support for conservation initiatives and poor information This landscape is known for its sacredness and its transfer from gatherers to decision-makers have resulted in associated rituals and festivals, which provides a lot of degradation of these sacred groves across the country opportunities for recreation and boosting social convivial- (Ramakrishnan et al. 1998; Bisht & Sharma 2005). ity and solidarity of the region. There are three major Economic incentive based on valuation of ecosystem ser- festivals celebrated related to the myths and rituals asso- vices and dissemination of relevant information to the ciated with this landscape; that is, Rakshabandhan (offer- concerned stakeholders could be one of the important ings in the form of milk and milk products are made in the tools to rejuvenate and conserve the associated cultural month of August to the goddess of the main temple and ecological uniqueness of such sacred groves/land- situated in the dense forest), Janmashtami (a fair organized scapes. Besides, it could be hypothesized that people in the month of Aug-Sep in the village Jasholi and also associated with such groves/landscapes will have different supported by the local government) and Diwali (in the perceptions/rationale for conserving this landscape since month of Oct-Nov villagers make a pilgrimage to the the benefits received by different villages will differ sacred forest from the temple at Jasholi village. The idol because of physical accessibility and rights. It is, therefore, of the goddess is carried over to the main temple at the important that research with a focus on economic valua- summit in a procession, i.e. called doli yatra.). On the day tion of ecosystem services of these sacred groves/land- of these festivals, a large number of people of people visit scapes is undertaken at a micro level, so that people can the site, for offerings to the deity, and also for a social be sensitized about the economic significance of the land- gathering. Such occasions provide opportunity to the peo- scape in addition to ecological and cultural significances. ple to meet their relatives, friends and discuss family and The current study on economic valuation of Hariyali personal issues. Different stalls put up by the local people sacred landscape (HSL), situated in Garhwal Himalaya is for selling a variety of products such as food, traditional conceived with an aim to identify different ecosystem cosmetics and toys help them to benefit economically. services associated with HSL, as perceived by the local These in turn promote social conviviality and solidarity community and to rank them on the basis of economic among the people associated with this landscape, which valuation and people’s perception. The study also helps in encouraging them for conserving the cultural and attempted to analyze WTP with respect to socio economic ecological uniqueness of this landscape (Sinha 2011). aspect, such as age, education and income. 2.2. Sampling 2. Materials and methods 2.2.1. Identification and ranking of ecosystem services 2.1. Study site based on people’s perceptions The study was conducted in HSL, which is situated in HSL provides a variety of direct as well indirect ecosys- Garhwal region of Central Himalayas in the state of tem services to the local people, besides having religious Uttarakhand, India. Garhwal Himalaya in India commonly importance for the nearby villages. To get a fair assess- referred to as Dev Bhumi (land of Gods and Goddess) ment on perceptions and WTP of the communities asso- houses many important religious shrines like Badrinath, ciated ecosystem services with HSL, the villages were Kedarnath, Yamnotri and so on besides the sacred con- stratified into three groups, namely core villages, nearby fluences of five tributaries of holy Ganga. It is interesting villages and outsiders. The core villages (CV) included 158 B. Sinha and S. Mishra Figure 1. Location of HSL Jasholi, Kodima and Pavo, which are situated in the core ecosystem services and their willingness to pay (WTP) for of HSL and are directly related to the Hariyali Devi temple the same (Table 1). Goods and services that could be and its associated socio-cultural rituals and norms. The valued in monetary terms and has direct use are classified nearby villages (NV) included villages that are situated as direct services and the others are classifies as indirect in the periphery of core village at a distance of 5–6 km, services. whereas outsiders (O) consisted of people not belonging to Males of 21 years and above were only interviewed for the core and nearby villages and were not benefitting from recording the perceptions and WTP. The selection of male ecosystem services directly but were culturally attached to of 21 years and above was considered, as at this age male HSL. The survey was carried out by the authors in the members start earning and lead a family life. The respon- festive months of August (Janamashtami) and October– sibility related to earning and spending of money is pri- November (just before Deepawali) in the year of 2010. marily confined to the male members, among the societies These months/festival seasons were chosen to get all types of this region. However, it is not to underestimate the of respondents including outsiders because they come to understanding of females on the importance and valuation participate in the rituals of HSL during these festivals. The of ecosystem services. respondents were interviewed at their homes, shops, farms To record the peoples’ perception on different services, and near temple during the festivals. To get a comprehen- the respondents were asked to identify and rank the direct sive assessment, a total of 140 respondents were randomly and indirect ecosystem services on the basis of their per- interviewed, representing CV, NV and Outsiders to under- ceived importance. The ranks were given in the form of, stand the perceptions of the people on different types of most important (MI), important (I), less important (LI) and Table 1. Number of respondents and their socio-economic profile. Education (%) Average age Average income* School Above school Numbers of Sl. no Target population (Years) (US $) level** level*** respondents 1. Residents of the core 43 2629 71 29 35 villages(CV) 2. Residents of the nearby 46 1938 89 11 66 villages(NV) 3. Outsiders(O) 48 3620 49 51 39 Note: *Conversion rate 1 US$ = 45.05 Rs. **12 years of formal education. ***More than 12 years of formal education. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 159 not important (NI). Values were assigned to the above- For the current study, WTP was recorded by directly mentioned ranks in order of importance, that is, most asking people about the amount of money that they would important would have the highest value of 4, and the be willing to pay (WTP/hh/year) for the direct and indirect other ranks in continuous descending order. Based on the services as identified by the people. In addition, WTP for scores obtained, mean for each service was calculated. The the temple development was exclusively asked, since peo- mean value gave us the importance of that particular ple have greater faith in the rituals performed through service as perceived by the different groups of respondents temple of HSL. The rights for performing rituals, visit of as mentioned in Table 1. outsiders and accessing resource from the HSL are gov- erned with the associated belief of the goddess Hariyali and the temple (Sinha 2011). The respondents were first apprised that their responses would be confidential and 2.2.2. Valuation method would be exclusively used for research. The direct services can be valued better by direct market valuation techniques but in the present study, the ecosys- tem services of HSL do not have direct presence in the 2.3. Calculation for WTP market (the goods like NTFPs, water, fuel wood, fodder 2.3.1. WTP for temple development are used for domestic purposes and are not traded in the The rights to resource use of HSL are closely linked to its market) and thus cannot be quantified by such techniques, associated religious and cultural practices. This not only therefore CVM was used to calculate the values for direct helps in conserving the landscape but also in boosting as well as indirect services. social solidarity and conviviality. The revenue generated CVM is a flexible approach and is generally used to out of religious value could be used for managing the include what is usually referred to as the existence or natural resources and reducing the dependency of the passive use component of the economic value of an envir- people for direct use of natural resources. It is for this onmental good (Carson & Hanemann 2005). Because of reason, WTP for temple development was considered its flexibility, CVM has become one of the most widely apart from the direct and indirect ecosystem services. used non-market valuation techniques for estimating the The respondents were informed about the activities for economic values for all kinds of ecosystem services temple development before they were asked on their (Carson et al. 2001). WTP for temple development. Creating more infrastruc- It is a survey-based technique and are naturally prone tures in form of guest houses, renovating the temple pre- to a number of biases, some of which are specific while mise and building other amenities in order to facilitate the others are common to all survey questionnaires, that is, visitors during the festival seasons would attract more strategic, compliance, starting point, range bias, impor- visitors. This in turn, would lead to increase in income tance bias and so on (Mitchell & Carson 1989; Bateman of the people by benefiting from more employment oppor- & Turner 1992; Spash 2008). It is, therefore, important tunities, besides reducing the dependency on the natural that CVM surveys should be designed in such a manner resources of the landscape. A hypothetical scenario was that helps to reduce bias problems to an acceptable level posed to respondents in order to know their WTP for and provide with useful value estimation information. In temple development: order to reduce the biasness of CVM in the current study, only earning members with definite source of income was ‘The Hariyali goddess temple is a place of great belief for considered so that a false/imaginary estimate can be all the people, and the number of devotees is consistently avoided. The respondents included only those present increasing. Due to increasing number of visitors, it is during the festivals, implying that their sense of belong- important to create essential infrastructure in and around ingness to the HSL is supposedly higher as compared to temple to manage visitors to regulate religious activities other who were not participating in the important rituals/ based on the existing belief system. This may require creating a trust or shrine board and significant amount festivals associated with HSL. The respondents were inter- of money. Under this scenario, would you be willing to viewed individually and the response of each respondent donate in monetary terms. If yes, then how much?’ was kept confidential. This helped in minimizing the bias that could have been influenced from the responses of others. 2.3.2. WTP for conservation of HSL, for direct as well as In this method, service demand is elicited by posing indirect services hypothetical scenarios that involve some valuation of Similarly, a hypothetical scenario was posed to solicit the alternatives (e.g. visitors willing to pay for increased response for conserving the landscape. access to national parks) (Ahmed and Gotoh 2006). This method has been mainly used in various studies ‘The natural resources of HSL are very valuable and for calculating the value of indirect ecosystem services critical for sustaining the livelihoods of the local people (Murty & Menkhaus 1994; Kadekodi & Ravindranath as they provide a number of direct and indirect benefits. 1997; Chopra & Kadekodi 1998; Maharana et al. 2000; However, in recent years, with population growth and Manoharan, 2000). increase in resource use pattern, the capacity of HSL in 160 B. Sinha and S. Mishra terms of providing different direct and indirect services as of formal education) then '1ʹ. The similar dummy variables perceived by you, will decrease or may get lost. This is were created for other factors with respect to age and very likely as the natural systems take a longer time to income. Therefore, the model can be specified in the replenish the resource and therefore it is critical that we following equation form: conserve and protect the natural resource from further degradation by supporting an organization to undertake the management of HSL on a scientific way. This will WTP ¼ α þ β X þ β X þ β X þ β X þ β X : (1) 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 entail mobilizing a fund dedicated for conserving the land- scape. Under such scenario, would you be willing to pay X and X stand for different categories of age (21–40, 1 2 for conservation. If yes, how much will you be willing to 41–60 and 61–80 yrs); X and X for different categories 3 4 pay for direct and indirect services?’ of income (up to 2220, 2221–4440 and above 4440 US$) and X for education. The results of the linear regression The survey for WTP started by asking the respondents model are provided in the Apeendix. whether they were willing to pay or not. If the answer was ‘no’ the procedure ended there with that particular respon- dent. If the answer was ‘yes’, then the second step was to determine the maximum amount he was willing to pay. 3. Results The maximum WTP was determined by the bidding pro- 3.1. People’s perception on ecosystem services cess. The interviewer started the bidding by a particular There are six direct and seven indirect services that the amount, that is, Rs 100 (≈2 US$). Prior interaction with local people identified with HSL during interaction and the people revealed that most of the people are comforta- survey (Table 2). All these services are vital for the people ble for donating Rs 100 (≈2 US$) for any public cause. If associated with HSL, specifically for the residents of the it was above the WTP, the interviewer reduced the bid core and nearby villages as these services affect their gradually until the answer was ‘yes’ and the value was livelihood directly and/or indirectly. The ranking of recorded. If the respondent agreed to the interviewer’s ecosystem services based on people’s perception implies initial bidding amount, the interviewer gradually raised that how people perceive different services based on the bid until the respondent said ‘no’ (Mitchell & Carson their existing knowledge and the benefits they obtain. 1989). Personal information of the respondents like age, Furthermore, analysis of perception ranking could help annual income, education was also recorded, as these to provide insight for enhancing people’s participation factors could affect the WTP of people (Table 1). in the management of the landscape. The ranking of direct and indirect services based on mean score is summarized in Table 2. 2.4. Data analysis The mean score calculated based on people’s percep- With the help of Statistical Product and Service Solutions tion for direct services was recorded maximum for nearby version 13, Bonferroni test under ANOVA was used to test villagers, followed by core villagers and outsiders the significance of difference for WTP for different eco- (Table 2). Minimum ranking given by outsiders for direct system services between respondents belonging to core services was expected since they do not benefit from these villages, nearby villages and outsiders. The same was services directly. Fuel wood is ranked higher as compared also used to test the significance of difference of WTP to other direct services by the core and nearby villages as linked to different categories of age, income and educa- their demand for the same is completely met by this land- scape. Water and food production are also ranked higher tion. On the other hand, Kruskal-Wallis test was applied to know the significance of difference on perception ranking. since the agricultural production of core and nearby vil- Mean ranks were taken as dependent variables. This is a lages are linked to nutrients and water that they get from nonparametric alternative test to one-way ANOVA, which HSL. Nearby villages are economically poor as compared is used to test ordinal variables (Levin & Rubin 1998). to the core villages (Table 1) and therefore their depen- Through these test, an attempt is made to establish and dence on agriculture and natural resources are higher for evaluate the importance of ecosystem services perceived sustaining their livelihood. This could be one of the rea- by different set of respondents, and to measure whether or sons attributed to the higher scores obtained on different not the respondent demonstrate the implicit value for the direct services by the nearby villagers as compared to the sacredness of the landscape and ecosystem services. In core villagers. In addition, one member of each family in addition, the following linear regression model has been the core villages is involved in service sector (which is a constructed and tested to show the extent of influence of fixed earning source) in contrast to lesser alternate liveli- various socio economic factors such as age, income and hood options available with the nearby villagers. education (independent variables) on WTP for different Therefore, the mean score on perception ranking for the services (dependent variables). The model is a dummy direct services is higher as compared to that of core variable regression model as for education level there are villages. two dummy variables, if education level of the respondent Indirect services such as hydrological regulation, is up to school level (12 years of formal education) then watershed services and soil fertility are again ranked we put ‘0’, and if above school level (more than 12 years higher by nearby villagers compared to the core villagers, International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 161 Table 2. Mean scores of ranking for direct and indirect services based on people’s perception. Values followed by different superscripts letter are significantly (p < 0.05) different. Ecosystem services Core villagers Nearby villagers Outsiders Direct services Fuel wood 3.83 4.00 3.67 Timber 3.71 4.00 3.90 Water 3.74 3.88 3.56 Food production 3.80 3.91 3.59 Fodder 3.60 3.88 3.59 NTFPs (Non-timber Forest product) 3.17 3.24 2.87 a a a Mean (±SD) 3.64 ± 0.24 3.81 ± 0.28 3.53 ± 0.34 Indirect Services Religious values 3.89 3.97 3.97 Hydrological regulation 3.89 3.91 3.62 Climate regulation 3.60 3.73 3.56 Soil fertility 3.31 3.74 2.95 Watershed services 3.26 3.70 2.87 Recreation & Aesthetic values 3.17 3.06 3.21 Educational values 2.46 2.06 2.15 a a a Mean (±SD) 3.36 ± 0.49 3.45 ± 0.68 3.19 ± 0.6 Table 3. Mean (± SD) WTP for different ecosystem services of core villagers, nearby villagers and outsiders of HSL. Values followed by different superscripts letter are significantly (p < 0.05) different. Temple Direct Indirect Total Minimum Maximum % of respondents not development services services WTP WTP WTP willing to pay for direct and indirect (US $/hh/yr*) services a a a Core villagers (n = 35) 21.3 ± 26.83 14.11 ± 20.19 14.4 ± 14.3 49.8 0.55 133.2 2.8 b b b Nearby villagers (n = 66) 1.56 ± 1.9 0.57 ± .51 0.57 ± .51 2.71 0.11 11.1 3.96 a a a Outsiders (n = 39) 16.12 ± 29.53 12.04 ± 17.75 11.52 ± 17.75 39.7 0.55 110.9 1.95 Note: *Conversion rate 1 US$ = 45.05 Rs. which could be attributed to the same reasons as men- temple development along with direct and indirect services tioned above in case of direct services. Education values are also calculated as the management of natural resources of HSL scored minimum rank among all types of ecosys- within the landscape is strongly linked to the myths and tem services by all set of respondents with core villagers rituals associated with the Hariyali goddess and the tem- ranking higher compared to other respondents. The core ple. The average WTP with respect to different services by villagers have higher appreciation about the opportunities different respondents are summarized in Table 3. that HSL offers for research and education in natural The total WTP for conservation and management resource management because of their interactions with (including temple development) of the landscape was different researchers, who are associated with this land- highest for core villagers (49.8US$/hh/year), followed by scape due to its unique ecological and cultural settings. outsiders (39.7US$/hh/year), and nearby villagers (2.71 The Kruskal-Wallis test to find significant differences US$/hh/year) with maximum WTP for temple develop- between core villages, nearby villages and outsiders ment by all the respondents (Table 3). WTP for all services showed that mean ranking of direct and indirect services of the nearby villages is significantly lower (p < 0.05) as did not differ significantly (p < 0.05). This also implied compared to the core villagers and outsiders. WTP for that the people associated with HSL recognized the impor- direct services varied from 0.57 US$ to 14.11 US$/hh/yr, tance of its services in a more or less similar manner. whereas, WTP for indirect services varied from 0.57 US$ to 14.4US$/hh/yr across different respondents. The max- imum WTP by any single respondent for all services was recorded from the core villages (133.2 US$/hh/yr), fol- 3.2. Valuation of WTP lowed by outsiders (110.9 US$/hh/yr) and abysmally low WTP for different types of services by different set of for the nearby villagers (11.1 US$/hh/yr), besides the respondents provides further insight to involve people in number of respondents not willing to pay at all (for direct the management of HSL for the decision-makers. WTP for and indirect services) was highest among the nearby 162 B. Sinha and S. Mishra Table 4. WTP (Mean ± SE) for temple development, direct and villagers. The difference of WTP between core and nearby indirect services with respect to age. villagers could be because of the difference in their sense of belongingness and ownership of landscape, education WTP for temple WTP for direct WTP for indirect and economic background. These differences between Age development (US$) services (US$) services (US$) core and nearby villages are explained further for attribut- 21–40 10.4 ± 2.7 7.8 ± 2.08 8.1 ± 2.3 ing the lower WTP by the nearby villagers: 41–60 12.85 ± 3.2 7.9 ± 2.01 8.09 ± 2.3 61–80 4.9 ± 1.6 3.4 ± 1.9 2.02 ± 0.9 (1) Due to lesser or negligible rights of nearby villa- gers in the traditional rituals associated with the temple and the goddess, there is difference in the influence the WTP for the ecosystem services. sense of belongingness and ownership of land- Subsequently, WTP for temple development, direct and scape between the core and nearby villagers. indirect services of total 140 respondents (respondents (2) During the interaction with the nearby villagers, from core villages, nearby villages and outsiders) were some of the respondents revealed that their trust further grouped into different categories of age, income on core villagers in handling the money generated and education to understand the influence of each factor. on account of festivals, religious offerings and WTP for temple development is higher as compared to other associated rituals linked to the temple and direct and indirect services for people belonging to all age the landscape was lacking. In perception ranking groups (Table 4). WTP by the elder people (61–80 yrs age) analysis, nearby villagers ranked religious services was recorded minimum for temple development as well as higher as compared to core villagers, but due to for direct and indirect services even though many of these monopoly of rights of core villagers in getting the elder people expressed their strong desire to pay more. benefits from activities linked to the temple and The lower income and availability of less money at their religious practices, they are not willing to contri- disposal could be the reasons for lower WTP. However, bute economically. there was no significant difference in WTP (p < 0.05) (3) Higher awareness and social recognition of the between the respondents belonging to different age core villagers in recent past due to higher publicity groups. of HSL, encourages them for development of this Total economic earning is one of the most important site in lieu of more anticipated income and thus factors for WTP by any individual for any service. WTP increases their WTP for temple development. for temple development by respondents of different More publicity helps the people of core villages income groups is higher as compared to that for direct in increasing their earnings due to increased visits and indirect services (Table 5). The study revealed that of tourists. Whereas, lack of these kinds of moti- WTP for temple development increased with increase in vation and incentives (economically or socially) the income, however the same trend was not observed for for nearby villagers reduces their WTP. direct and indirect services. This also means that people’s (4) Difference in levels of income is also one of the WTP for temple development is driven by the religious reasons for lesser WTP of nearby villagers significance they attach to HSL in terms of sacredness of (Table 1). They are mainly dependent on agricul- the landscape, and not primarily guided by their income. ture and have lesser options for alternate source of This implies that the role of institutions regulating socio- income as compared to the core villagers. cultural practices of HSL should be strengthened in order to conserve the natural resources. On the other hand, the significantly lower WTP by the WTP for each of the three services (temple develop- nearby villagers as compared to outsiders, even though ment, direct and indirect) was significantly higher they are not the direct beneficiaries could be because of (p < 0.05) among the respondents who had completed their (outsiders) higher education and awareness about the their education above school level (who enrolls to univer- importance of these services. Also, outsiders who come to sity for higher education after having 12 years of formal HSL have a higher religious affinity in deity as they visit every year once or twice and travel from long distances. Beside, their income is comparatively higher as compared to the people of core and nearby villages (Table 1) and Table 5. WTP (Mean ± SE) for temple development, direct and therefore their capacity to donate is higher. Apart from the indirect services in relation to income. above cited reasons, variation in the WTP can also be WTP for attributed to various socio economic factors like age, WTP for temple WTP for indirect income and education that are mentioned below. Income development direct services services (US$) (US$) (US$) (US$) 0–2220 8.3 ± 2.1 5.03 ± 1.4 4.7 ± 1.2 3.3. WTP in relation to socio- economic factors 2221–4440 12.6 ± 4.6 10.07 ± 3.04 11.05 ± 4.5 From the current and past studies, it is assumed that, age, Above 4440 15.6 ± 4.9 10.05 ± 3.4 9.6 ± 3.06 income and education are some of the factors that International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 163 Table 6. WTP (Mean ± SE) for temple development, direct and pilgrims and 2.51US$ by the domestic tourists (per trip for indirect services in relation to education. visitors and annually for the local community). This value is less when compared with the WTP for conservation and WTP for WTP for WTP for management of HSL. Direct dependence of the villages on temple direct indirect development services services HSL for a variety of essential services like water for Education level (US$) (US$) (US$) domestic use and irrigation, fuel wood, fodder and higher religious belief in the landscape could be some of the Education up to 7.7 ± 1.8 4.7 ± 1.3 4.9 ± 1.6 reasons that could be linked to the higher WTP. Besides, school level the people have local and regional identity due to HSL. Education with 18.7 ± 4.8 13.6 ± 2.9 12.7 ± 2.9 above school Similarly, the average WTP for conservation of a sacred level grove in Karnataka (India) was 123.15 US$ per household (Panchamukhi et al. 2007), which is higher as compared to the total WTP for conserving the HSL. The higher income of villagers in Karnataka as compared to the villagers of education at school) as compared to the respondents who HSL could be the reason for higher WTP observed in had their education up to school level (12 years of formal Karnataka. education) (Table 6). Level of education was the only As far as WTP for direct services (HSL) is concerned, significant factor in determining the WTP for different there are other studies conducted on WTP for a particular services within the landscape, when multiple regression service/product in different regions, but have used differ- analysis was constructed and tested as per the Equation 1, ent unit for valuation, and therefore cannot be compared. described in the methodology section and the results given Nonetheless, these studies signify the importance that the in Appendix. As the education increases, the people’s communities attach for future conservation. For example, perception and realization about the importance of con- WTP for extraction of NTFP per permit from a sacred servation of different services also increases (especially grove at Southwest Sichuan of China was 5.43US$ on an direct and indirect services), as they learn to appreciate average (Garrett 2007), and total WTP for the preservation these services from ecological and social perspectives of medicinal plants in the selected villages of Karnataka along with appreciation for meeting the basic needs of was 0.52US$/ha (Panchamukhi et al. 2007). life. Furthermore, it could be also said that people become On the other hand, WTP for indirect services of HSL more rational in terms of attributing value to the services (14.4US$/hh/year by core villagers, 11.52US$/hh/year by based on the scientific understanding rather than being outsiders) is less than WTP for conservation of Dhaka influenced by religious/cultural values alone. This could Zoological Garden, which is 5.76 US$/visitor/day be one of the reasons that the education was the most (Shammin 1999), as this site is located in the capital of important factors for determining the WTP and their affi- the country which could have more educated and econom- nity towards contributing in conservation of the landscape. ically richer community as compared to the remote vil- lages of HSL. Another similar study by Loomis (2000) estimated that WTP for conservation of South Platte River 4. Discussion near Denver, Colorado is 252 US$/yr/household. A variety The most important fact is that valuation of ecosystem of essential services such as wastewater dilution, water services is not an end in itself, rather it acts as a tool that purification, erosion control, habitat provision for fish and wildlife, recreation along with higher income and provides useful information and recommendations for decision-making by demonstrating and analyzing eco- awareness could be some of the possible reasons for nomic benefits and costs, and relating these to real-world higher WTP, whereas the lower WTP for indirect services conservation and development issues. It also helps to of HSL can be linked to lower income and less awareness develop mechanisms for raising sustainable finance for on indirect ecosystem services among people. People with managing protected areas and sacred grove/landscapes higher educational background have shown higher WTP (De Groot et al. 2002; Mathur & Sachdeva 2003). The for all services in the HSL and through multiple regression application of valuation techniques to calculate WTP for analysis it was proved that it was the only factor that all direct and indirect services also provides information shows a significant impact on WTP for different services about magnitude of the benefits received by the prime as compared to any other socio-economic factors (i.e. age beneficiaries from those services and their role in conser- and income), as described in the result section. vation (Semwal et al. 2007). It also helps in understanding It is, therefore, suggested that education (both formal the pattern of different level of beneficiaries in their WTP and informal) and the dissemination of relevant informa- for conservation, as also observed in our study. In context tion related to biological, social and economic potential of of WTP for conserving and management of different ser- the landscape should be made available to the people of vices, a similar study was conducted by Maharana et al. this landscape in the local language so that people’s invol- (2000) on Khecheopalri Lake in Sikkim state of India, vement and their WTP for conservation is enhanced. which reported WTP for the management of lake to be Creating income-generating activities through promoting 0.88US$ by the local community, 2.16US$ by the local ecotourism will have a development impact and serve as 164 B. Sinha and S. Mishra conservation incentives for the people of Hariyali land- References scape. However, care has to be taken where people of Ahmed SU, Gotoh K. 2006. 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Result of multiple regression analysis (using dummy variables) Un-standardized coefficients Standardized coefficients B Std. error Beta t Sig. (Constant) 16.931 7.432 2.278 .024 X1: Age (21–40 yrs) .686 5.962 .015 .115 .909 X2: Age (41–60 yrs) 6.733 5.551 .152 1.213 .227 Age (>60 yrs)* 0.0* X3: Income (0–2220 US$) −3.117 6.154 −.066 −.506 .613 X4: Income (2221–4440 US$) 3.251 6.957 .059 .467 .641 Income (>440 US$)* 0.0* X5: Education (up to school level) −11.546 4.730 −.232 −2.441 .016 Education (above school level)* 0.0* Note: Dependent variable: WTP for temple development (US$). Adjusted R square - .050. F – stat - 2.472. Total observations – 140. *Reference category of age, income and education. Table A2: Result of multiple regression analysis (using dummy variables) Unstandardized coefficients Standardized coefficients B Std. error Beta t Sig. (Constant) 12.424 5.017 2.476 .015 X1: Age (21–40 yrs) −.158 4.025 −.005 −.039 .969 X2: Age (41–60 yrs) 2.711 3.747 .091 .723 .471 Age (>60 yrs)* 0.0* X3: Income (0–2220 US$) −.499 4.155 −.016 −.120 .905 X4: Income (2221–4440 US$) 3.312 4.696 .089 .705 .482 Income (>440 US$)* 0.0* X5: Education (up to school level) −9.467 3.193 −.281 −2.965 .004 Education (above school level)* 0.0* Note: Dependent variable: WTP for direct services (US$). Adjusted R square - .054. F – stat - 2.601. Total observations – 140. *Reference category of age, income and education. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 167 Table A3: Result of multiple regression analysis (using dummy variables) Unstandardized coefficients Standardized coefficients B Std. error Beta t Sig. (Constant) 8.620 5.636 1.530 .128 X1: Age (21–40 yrs) 2.696 4.520 .078 .596 .552 X2: Age (41–60 yrs) 4.636 4.209 .140 1.101 .273 Age (> 60 yrs)* 0.0* X3: Income (0–2220 US$) .555 4.666 .016 .119 .905 X4: Income (2221–4440 US$) 3.229 5.275 .078 .612 .541 Income (> 440 US$)* 0.0* X5: Education (up to school level) −8.014 3.586 −.216 −2.235 .027 Education (above school level)* 0.0* Note: Dependent variable: WTP for indirect services (US$). Adjusted R square – 0.022. F – stat – 1.626. Total observations – 140. *Reference category of age, income and education.
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Apr 3, 2015
Keywords: sacred landscape; ecosystem services; economic valuation; people’s perception; WTP
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