Environmental Attitudes And Willingness To Pay For Highland Conservation: The Case Of Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia
Chong, Leong (2005) Environmental Attitudes And Willingness To Pay For Highland Conservation: The Case Of Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Highlands are fragile ecosystem crucial for various human necessities, especially in terms of biodiversity, water supply, climate moderator and soil conservation. Losing this precious heritage means that we are losing our long-term revenue from various tangible as well as intangible goods and services. Unless the wildlife particularly birds and the highland ecosystem can be shown to have real and substantial value, decisions are often made in favour of alternative land uses such as residential development and agricultural practices. Therefore, a full and accurate economic valuation of natural resources in particular non-marketable goods is needed. A social survey was conducted in order to capture the value that people placed and their attitudes towards the protection of Fraser’s Hill as a habitat for bird population. A total of 435 respondents comprising on-site visitors and residents were randomly selected. The results indicated that the majority of respondents have positive attitudes towards wildlife protection. They realized that human presence and habitat loss are major wildlife threats, and more priority should be given on wildlife protection instead of tourism in terms of government funding. In addition, they also recognized the importance of habitat protection. The responses were associated with respondents’ socio-economic backgrounds including age, education level and income. The value to protect Fraser’s Hill for birds was estimated using Contingent Valuation Method. The results indicated that the conservation value of Fraser’s Hill for birds is RM30.33 and RM12.25 annually per visitor and resident, respectively. Results showed that the protection of highlands is essential in terms of various values that should be recognized and taken into consideration in policy making associated with highlands development.
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