Wetland ecosystems conservation is a critical environmental policy and practice challenge. Though policy protection mechanisms ostensibly establish a commitment to long-term protection, the level and types of wetland threats are growing. Management of sustainable wetland resources requires community commitments to protection amongst predominantly rural stakeholders that draw upon wetland ecosystem services for their livelihoods and is vital to forming a policy strategy. This empirical study uses contingent valuation methodology with rural residents around four key wetlands areas in the ecologically fragile Khuzestan province in Iran. We find that 65% of the residents are willing to pay an amount of personal income to protect wetland ecosystems. The estimated Logit model with 84% prediction accuracy showed the variables of education and job relationship with the wetland had a positive effect on the probability of price acceptance, and the variables of living costs and marital status had a negative effect on the probability of price acceptance. In total, the conservation value of wetlands is estimated at 103,351.52 USD. Finally, we assess the policy-relevance of our findings towards community windfall payments, tax disbursements, community resource management schemes, public participation, and social outreach programs to improve social learning buy-in to long-term conservation practices.
|Journal||Journal for Nature Conservation|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Jan 2022|