Estimating the Non-use Value: The Contingent Valuation Approach on Rural Households in Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, Northern Nigeria
Wetlands are unique ecosystem of the earth that provides variety of goods and services to the society. The Hadejia-Nguru wetlands (HNW), being the first site to be identified as wetland of international importance (RAMSAR site) in Nigeria, is however facing serious anthropogenic threats. Lack of information on economic value of the wetlands, especially the non-use values has contributed tremendously to its continuous exploitation and degradation. The objective of this study is to estimate the non-use values of the wetland and determine the factors influencing respondents’ willingness to pay for its conservation. The study employed dichotomous choice contingent valuation method (DC-CVM) on 405 systematically sampled households of some upstream communities near the wetland between the months of August to October, 2016. The study results showed that 78.8% of the respondents were willing to pay through donation for the conservation of the wetland. The mean WTP value was estimated at N2, 290.31 ≈ $ 7.51 per household, and the aggregate non-use value estimated was N 29,366,540,335.11 ($=96,283,738.8) yearly. From the logit regression model, gender, age, income, household size, institutional trust, bid amount and attitudes were the significant predictors of WTP for non-use value. The study finding explicitly reveals the importance attached to the wetland by the local people and their willingness to make investment for its conservation and restoration. This outcome has significant policy implications for balancing development and conservation efforts and thus, recommends the incorporation of local communities in decision making for sustainable wetland management.
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