Villager’s Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Ecosystem Management of Lagoon: A locality study in Thondamanaru Lagoon in Sri Lanka

Author(s): Sooriyakumar Krishnapillai
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Institution or organization of origin: University of Jaffna
Country: Sri Lanka


Thondamanaru Lagoon is a brackish water lagoon in the northern province of Sri Lanka, with an area of approximately 7800 hectares and supports a range of natural services. The economy of the village community along this lagoon is heavily depend on fishing activities, cattle and goat production and farming but overexploitation of lagoon ecosystem is a significant challenge for the Sri Lankan government to support sustainable lagoon ecosystem management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the villagers’ choices, preferences and willingness to pay for different sustainable lagoon ecosystem management measures. Choice modeling approach was used to estimate the willingness to pay for different lagoon ecosystem management. Along the lagoon, 75villagers were randomly selected for this survey. A conditional logit model was estimated for the villager’s choices among different lagoon ecosystem management. Results show that villagers are willing to pay more for increasing the fish and shrimp production and number of mangroves and wet land grasses and improving the facilities for tourists than increasing number of birds. Villagers who directly benefit from lagoon ecosystem are willing to pay more for increasing the fish and shrimp production and improving tourist facilities than villages who are not directly benefit from lagoon ecosystem. Educated villagers are willing to pay more for improving tourist facilities than other villagers. This study suggests that educating villagers on sustainable lagoon ecosystem management and encouraging them to participate in the ecosystem management would increase their support for the sustainable lagoon ecosystem management.

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