Economic valuation of ecosystem services of three reservoirs and their importance for lake governance in Malaysia

Author(s): Zati Sharip
Email (s):
Institution or organization of origin: National Water Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM)
Country: Malaysia


Economic valuation of ecosystem services has been identified as important research in the National Blueprint for Lakes and Reservoir Development in Malaysia in 2015. As such, the economic valuation of ecosystem services was carried out in three reservoirs in Malaysia, namely Sembrong Lake in Johor, Bukit Merah, and Chenderoh Lakes in Perak. The contingent valuation method (CVM) was undertaken to estimate the conservation value of all three reservoirs based on the assessment of the willingness to pay (WTP) for such conservation effort. The travel cost method (TCM) was undertaken to estimate the tourism value potential of the reservoirs. Additionally, direct values of water, fish, and flood mitigations were carried out for Sembrong Lake. The WTP per person per year for all lakes was estimated at RM15.19 for Sembrong, RM17.20 for Bukit Merah, and RM15.76 for Chenderoh, respectively. The total economic values for conservation were RM381.6 million, RM130.7 million, and RM131 million for Sembrong, Bukit Merah, and Chenderoh lake respectively. The TCM analysis indicated that the mean recreation benefits per visitor were RM36 for Sembrong, RM294 for Bukit Merah and, RM197 Chenderoh, respectively. The direct values for Sembrong Lake were RM384.3 million with flood mitigation contributing 62% of the values. Based on this study, the economic values of ecosystem services of the three lakes are substantial and provides significant welfare contribution to the society. Lake managers and decision-makers should give high priority to the management and conservation of lakes in order to enhance lake ecology that ensures long-term benefits to society.

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