This article reports the results of a compative study conducted in China, the Philippine, Thailand

and Viet Nam to assess households willingness to pay for marine turtle conservation and
potential to mobilize funds.

1. Introduction:
1.1. The importance of marine turtle conservation in Asia:
Marine turtles are important, not only for their economic and intrinsic value, but also
because the presence of an adequate population of marine turtles is often an indicates of
heathy marine eco-system.
Among 7 species of marine turtles in the world, 4 are critically endangered and 2 are in
the next highest risk category.
The marine turtle’s status in Asia is of interest for reasons:
+ Human activity in the region presents a wide variety of threat
+ Marine turtle’s habitat shared among large number of countries such as China, the
Philippine, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Therefore, Coordinated policies to conserve marine turtles are more likely to be effective
than those pursued by countries on their own.
1.2. Objectives of the research:

This paper aims:

To see whether Asians are willing to pay for marine turtle conservation or not

To access awareness and attitudes toward marine turtle conservation

To measure potential revenue for marine turtle conservation

To recommend potential funding mechanism for the conservation

To examine the determinants of WTP

2. Methodology
The study applied the CVM to assess willingness of local populations to pay for the conservation
of marine turtle. To obtain the correct value of WTP, the most important thing is questionnaire,
especially the scenario that provide information about the good being valued. In constructing the
questionnaire, a series of focus group discussions, pretest surveys were done.
A total of 3680 questionares were collected, 600 in Beijing-China, 847 in Davao City-the
Philippines, 789 in Bangkok-Thailand and 1444 in Ho Chi Minh/Hanoi-Vietnam.

5 20 20 2. They provided information about the importance of marine turtles to coast and oceans ecosystems.5 19 68 87 (1USD) 20 18 19 27 (1USD) 16 17 20 44 84 97 2 17 17 2 17 17 2. described the threats and risks of extinction. Bid Beijn Davao Bangko HCMC/ Bid Beijng Davao Bangkok HCMC (US$/ g k Hanoi (US$/ /Hanoi month/hh) Total month/hh) Total (.  A region-wide program financed through a voluntary charge with 1220 respondents. About bid levels: the nine bid levels from $0.5 23 60 83 0. They then asked respondent whether they would be willing contribute to the program by paying a monthly surcharge on their electricity bills for a period of 5 years. They asked separate groups of respondents their willingness to pay for one of three marine turtle conservation packages:  A region-wide program financed through a mandatory charge with 1249 respondents.5USD 3 11 7. They looked at two variants: a mandatory charge and a voluntary charge.02 to $7.02USD) 30 32 39 78 179 0. About payment vehicle: finally.25 31 31 0.25 37 37 0.1 30 30 0.1 38 38 0.5 18 18 (5USD) 7 11 9 20 (5USD) 8 11 7 17 47 43 7.5USD 2 20 14 22 Total 82 120 121 178 501 Total 75 107 121 227 530 .  A national program financed through a mandatory charge 1211 respondents.5 per month were used. and introduced a hypothetical marine conservation program. they decided to assess people’s willing to pay for conservation through household’s electricity bills monthly. Table 1: The number of respondents .  The Scenario They constructed a hypothetical marine turtle conservation program.02USD) 29 36 42 60 167 (. Table 2: The number of respondents saying ‘Yes’ to each bid under the saying ‘Yes’ to each bid under the Regional Voluntary Program Regional Mandatory Program .

health.  Result shows that respondents from Ho Chi Minh city/Hanoi would be willing to pay significantly higher for the mandatory program. education. Table 3: Social and Economic Priorities Rank Beijing Davao City Bangkok Ho Chi Minh N=600 N= 847 N= 789 City/Hanoi N= 1. . 3. government/good governance. environment. Environmental Priorities: Respondents were asked to rank nine environmental issues: air pollution. water pollution. while respondents in Beijing.s top tree concerns  70% respondents in all four countries agree that environment problems are not taken care of. soil erosion.Social and Economic Priorities: The authors asked respondents to rank ten public policy issues: Economic problems. Davao city and Bangkok appear to be indifferent. global warming and destruction of coral reefs. Results 3. infrastructure. deforestation. traffic congestion. loss of endangered species.1. Only in Beijing does it appear among people. solid waste. crime/violence/inequality. . relations with other countries.444 1 Economic Economic Economic Economic Problems problems problems problems 2 Good Poverty Poverty Good Governance Governance 3 Environment Good Good Education Governance Governance Note N= the total of respondents surveyed  The survey shows that people in all 4 countries accord relatively low priority to environmental protection. Attitudes towards Environment. poverty. Wildlife and Marine Turtles . terrorism.

Thailand. or consumed their meat or eggs. release of life’ ritual.444 Seen a live Marine Turtle? 53% 67% 57% 24% Have eaten marine turtle eggs or meat? 3% 9% 7% 2% Have purchased or owned a product 6% 4% 10% 5% made from the shell of a marine turtle? Watch Discovery Channel. Familiarity and knowledge about marine turtles Table 5: Familiarity and knowledge about marine turtles Unit: % of total respondents Beijing Davao City Bangkok Ho Chi Minh N=600 N= 847 N= 789 City/Hanoi N= 1. China and Malaysia (temple ceremonies. Asians are familiar with them. e t c Marine turtles lay their eggs on land 80% 77% 85% 84%  The marine turtle is not an obscure species. although they may not have seen live turtles. or National 81% 79% 98% 78% Geographic or any television show or video document about marine turtles or other animals? Know that marine turtles have culture 44% 27% 51% 45% value in some societies in Indonesia.444 1 Air pollution Deforestation Traffic congestion Air pollution 2 Water pollution Solid waste Deforestation Water pollution 3 Traffic congestion Air pollution Air pollution Deforestation  In none of the cities did wildlife conservation appear in the top tree environmental issues  People are primarily concerned with environmental problems that affect their daily lives.Table 4: Environmental Priorities Rankin Beijing Davao City Bangkok Ho Chi Minh g N=600 N= 847 N= 789 City/Hanoi N= 1. . Ex: Davao city was the only city where a non-urban issue ( deforestation) ranked first because it is located close to natural forests and has increasing incidences of flooding .

.2.  Only 4% of respondents in Davao city strongly agreed that “ governments should raise taxes for more endangered species protection”.  Television may be more important source of information about environmental issues than formal education. An individual may be concerned about animals in general or specific species.444 1 Marine turtles Marine turtles Dugongs White rhino 2 Dugongs Philippine Marine turtles Marine turtles eagles 3 Whalesharks Dugongs Whalesharks Dugongs  In all cities. dugongs. Table 6: Ranking for priority in resource allocation Rank Beijing Davao City Bangkok Ho Chi Minh N=600 N= 847 N= 789 City/Hanoi N= 1. Philippine eagles. while the percentages of “ strongly agree” in the other cities was similarly low. marine turtles were ranked either first or second. black-faced spoonbills and Javan rhinos. Responses to the WTP question  Reasons for Willingness to Pay Table 7: Reason why respondents decided to contribute money for the establishment of a marine turtle conservation fund % of respondents who said ‘Yes’ to the WTP question Reasons Beijing Davao Bangkok HCMC/ city Hanoi The marine turtle is an important animal and 48 41 39 34 . without taking action to prevent their extinction:  57-65% strongly agree that “ it is everyone’s duty to ensure that plants and animals as we know them today will exist for mankind in the future  Most people have “pro-environmental” attitudes.Priority over endangered species: Respondents were asked to rank six endangered species for conservation resources: marine turtles. whalesharks.  Respondents in the five cities surveyed showed common preferences for marine turtle. 3.

should be protected I believe that marine turtles can only be 19 6 10 29 protected through the collaboration of several countries It is high time that the people in East Asia do 4 16 9 9 something concrete about protecting the marine turtles since this is the center of illegal trade in the world This initiative can lead to more protection 22 15 21 9 efforts for other endangered species in the region  The most common reason of all respondents groups is “ The marine turtle is an important animal and should be protected”. perceptions toward the government of the time tended to be negative side. .  In Bangkok.  Reasons for un Willingness to Pay Table 8: Reasons why respondents voted ‘against’ the referendum % of respondents who said ‘No’ to the WTP question Reasons Beijing Davao Bangko HCM/ city k Hanoi I cannot afford that amount 39 36 13 27 I do not trust the institutions that will handle the 20 5 14 19 money for this conservation work I do not believe paying will solve the problem 18 5 4 11 It should be the government’s responsibility since it 7 27 41 10 already has money from my tax revenues  Except Thailand. already had their tax revenue. the most common response was that they could not afford the amount. hence the most common reason for deciding not to support marine turtle conservation was because they thought it should be responsibility of the government which after all.

005 -0.438 0.894 0.001 0.015 0.215 0.036 0.087 *** Member 0.365 0.129 0.040 0. China Philippines Thailand Viet Nam Pooled Coeff Std err Coeff Std err Coeff Std err Coeff Std err Coeff Std err Bid -0.658 0. The Bid Function The variable choice is regressed on: Variable Definition Bid Bid used in WTP question (US$) HH size Number of household members living together Age Age of respondents Gender 1= male.028 0.001 0.821 0.440 0.159 0.027 0.005 0.070 0.155 -0.001 0.235 0.032 -0.009 -0. 0.001 0.077 Education 0.008 0.225 *** ** *** .002 0.053 -0.046 -0.065 0. and *0* otherwise Cn 1= Beijing.028 0. 0 = others Table 10 shows the regression results.009 0.052 -0.013 0.501 -1.085 0.122 0.018 0.003 Gender 0.034 0.808 0.109 0.136 Phil.355 0.061 -0.408 0.0002 0. 0= others Th 1= Bangkok.001 0.706 -0.000 0.011 ** ** *** Income 0.006 0.165 -0.007 0.432 0.132 0.038 0.3.032 -0.001 0. 3.032 0.199 0.102 *** Thai -0.049 0.503 0.112 _cons -2.048 -0.713 0.168 0.008 0.003 0. 0= female Education Education of respondents ( years of schooling) Income Total household income (1000 US$/month) Marriage 1=married.309 -0.000 0.156 ** *** *** China 0.519 0.077 0. 0= others Member *1* for environmental organization member.019 ** Age 0.422 0.026 *** *** *** *** *** Hhsize 0.385 0.187 -0. 0 = others Ph 1= Davao.147 0.044 0.160 -0.000 *** *** * *** *** Marriage 0.315 0.077 -0.002 0.0003 0.000 0.345 0.203 0.204 0.036 0.

83/household/month Mean WTPs for Beijing city: $1.  Based on the percentages of responsidents in the cities who could voluntarily pay $1/month. For each city surveyed. we found that respondents were willing to make only small payments: Mean WTPs for Davao city: $0. Ho Chi Minh city/Hanoi is the exception with where the MWTP for the conservation efforts is higher for the international scale conservation efforts. People in several cities in Southeast Asia believe that conservation is important but at the moment.10 0. their priorities understandably lie in other public policy issues such as improving governance and reducing poverty.4.5 -433. This is less than potential revenue for mandatory surcharge in the four countries surveyed ( US$135 .17/household/month .6 likelihood Pseudo R2 0. potential revenue would be around $50 million per year.17/household/month Mean WTPs for Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi: $0. generally aware and well informed about marine turtles. Between international and national scale of efforts. This results provide some support for the proposition that voluntary contributions could provide considerable sums for marine turtle conservation.  Respondents from different age. Summary and conclusions Their study expose to abundant information.02 in all cities surveyed.Log.12 0. 3.17 0.2 -502.16/household/month Mean WTPs for Bangkok city: $0. -302. Cost of and potential revenue for the marine turtle conservation program  A mandatory surcharge on electricity bills would only pass at the lowest bid of $0.09 0.10 N 598 839 789 1430 3656  Bid and Income was variable which statistically affected WTP. The size of the household and whter or not the respondent ware significant only in the Vietnam model.  Education for instance was significant only for China anh Vietnam at 0.6 -810.05 significance level. gender had same preference for marine turtle.1 -2069. 4. Estimate of WTP .

estimated at some US$20 million per year. The voluntary payment vehicle for marine turtle conservation program is electricity bill. Efforts to develop conservation finance mechanism: Improving the trustworthiness of government tax collection and expenditure systems. as imcomes rise and governance improves. their efforts should go primarily into identifying the relatively small segment of the population that is willing to contribute and to developing cost- effective ways of collecting payments. This is not feasible to put check-off boxes on utility bills for every species or environmental cause. In the meantime. after all.million). . contributions from the international community will continue to be important in conserving what is. a global resource. The harsh reality is that actually mobilizing these contributions would be difficult. Eventually. But it is more than the current global expenditures on marine turtle conservation of 162 conservation organizations combined.  Conservation agencies might play a role in this by working with governments to set up trust funds in which public funds could be deposited with confidence  Charities could also explore the potential for voluntary contributions reveals by this study. Asia’s ability to pay for conservations will increase.

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