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Über dieses Buch

This book presents the findings of the study, and offers analysis of both its methodological and policy-related implications. On the methodology side, it assesses and validates the valuation workshop approach; appraises the effect of distance on willingness to pay and the influence of the respondents’ ability to pay. From a policy perspective, the book examines the attitudes and preference of respondents on trade-offs between economic growth and ecological use.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Yangtze finless porpoises (YFPs) are the only fresh water adapted ­porpoises in the world, living in the middle and downstream of the Yangtze River, in China. They are facing the threats include: illegal fishing and overfishing, sand dredging and shipping, and water pollution caused by industry and agriculture. Owing to these threats, the porpoise population is falling and urgent conservation is needed. Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China and also the best habitat for YFPs. It is proposed a nature reserve for YFPs in Poyang Lake in order to avoid their extinction. The overall goal of the study is to quantify the economic benefits of the porpoise ­conservation in Poyang Lake in China using a deliberative valuation approach, called the valuation workshop. Within this overall goal, three sub-goals are pursued in the Poyang Lake valuation study, which seek to close specific gaps in the research on contingent valuation. Firstly, this study aims at finding a way that enables people to value an unfamiliar species, which mainly consists of non-use values. Secondly, it is to test empirically the role of the distance decay on WTP. Thirdly, the mean WTP for the porpoise conservation is compared between China and Germany.
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 2. Background Information of Poyang Lake and Yangtze Finless Porpoises

Before I start describing Yangtze finless porpoises (YFPs), I need to put this animal and the need to protect it into context. Therefore, this chapter seeks to introduce the area, Poyang Lake, and identify major use conflicts with respect to ecology and economy. In addition, I briefly describe the characteristics of the YFPs and explain the threats faced by them and corresponding protection strategy.
Poyang Lake enjoys the title of the last “special water ecological region” in the world, gaining the laureate of the “largest freshwater lake of China” for its maximum water surface of 5,100 km² in 1954. Poyang Lake is not only the lifeline of Jiangxi province in China but also the “patron saint” of the middle and lower reaches of The Yangtze River. In this chapter, I will introduce the geographical situation of Poyang Lake, and the uses and conflicts found there (Sects. 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3). Then I will explore Poyang Lake as the best currently available habitat of the YFPs and explain the circumstances faced by the YFPs (Sect. 2.4). The chapter ends with a brief summary (Sect. 2.5).
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 3. Theoretical Background on Economic Valuation

In this chapter, the underpinning theory of the economic valuation study will be explained. The goal of this chapter is twofold: first, I want to give an overview of economic valuation as far as it is relevant for the evaluation of the YFPs. Secondly, I will prepare the methodological approach employed in this study.
The structure of the chapter is as follows: I begin by introducing the importance of economic valuation of environmental assets in Sect. 3.1. In Sect. 3.2, I explain why to make an economic valuation of the YFP protection. The reasons are that the protection of YFPs is a public good and is not completely entitled with property rights and that the protection of YFPs produces a number of positive externalities that fail to be internalized. Consequently, market failure happens in porpoise protection. In Sect. 3.3, I describe the total economic value (TEV) of the porpoise protection in the Yangtze River system, including the use values and non-use values. In the following Sect. 3.4, I compare various valuation methods and make the choice of Contingent valuation method (CVM), and in Sect. 3.5, I review the theoretical basis of the CV study. Welfare measures, willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) are important theoretical bases for the CV study. Finally in Sect. 3.6, I summarize the challenges faced by the CV and clarify that I will concentrate on addressing the problem of distance decay.
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 4. Questionnaire Development

Based on the data obtained from two focus groups, the structure and essential components of the CVM questionnaire are developed in this chapter. Furthermore, various alternative approaches to elicit WTP questions are explored and one proper approach is selected, along with follow-up questions to help establish the validity of WTP responses. Before implementing the questionnaire survey on a large scale, a pilot survey was carried out to pretest the questionnaire survey. According to the feedback from the pretests, some modifications were made to the questionnaire (Sect. 4.3). In addition, sampling frame and sample size is presented (Sect. 4.4). All the possible survey methods are compared and one group-based survey method was selected (Sect. 4.5).
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 5. Results

In the chapter, collected information and data are presented and analyzed, such as sample characteristics and respondents’ attitudes on the protection of YFPs. Respondents’ socioeconomic characteristics are recorded, which serve further analysis of WTP bids—whether the WTP bids offered by the respondents are valid. In addition, based on the statements explaining how to decide the WTP amount, WTP bids are judged to be biased or valid. Furthermore, it also investigates the distribution of valid WTP bids, provides the descriptive statistics for data in the three cities, tests the validity of WTP responses statistically, compares the mean WTP in the three cities to test the distance effect, and analyzes mean WTP in China and Germany.
The result is that mean WTP in Beijing > mean WTP in Nanchang > mean WTP in Guangzhou, while they do not differ from each other statistically. Additionally, it is found out that dependent WTP bids of the respondents in Beijing have a significant relationship with the determinants Edu.Degree, INCOME, BEQUEST, and Econ.AndEnvi. at the 0.00 level (R² = 0.434). Dependent WTP estimates in Guangzhou are significantly related to the variables Envi.Group, SIGHTSEEING, BIODIVERSITY, and INCOME at the 0.00 level (R² = 0.434). Around 44% variance of WTP bids in Nanchang can be well-explained by the variables Income, Fam.Size, and Envi.Group at the 0.00 level. Last, the mean WTP in Germany is significantly larger than that in China.
In this chapter, the data obtained from the workshops are summarized and analyzed in the following way:
  • Socioeconomic characteristics of the samples (Sect. 5.1 and 5.4.1).
  • Evaluation of respondents’ attitude (Sect. 5.2).
  • Validity assessment of the WTP bids (Sect. 5.3).
  • Descriptive statistical results for WTP estimates (Sect. 5.4.2).
  • Theoretical validity tests of WTP (Sect. 5.4.3).
  • Comparison of WTP bids in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Nanchang to test the distance effects (Sect. 5.4.2.1).
  • Comparison of WTP means in China and Germany (Sect. 5.4.2.2).
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 6. Discussion

The research aim of this study is to estimate the values of porpoise conservation by eliciting individuals’ WTP using CVM. CVM is rather novel in China and most people are not familiar with paying for environmental goods or services. At the same time, many people do not have much knowledge of the YFPs. Hence, difficulties with the application of CVM are not beyond expectation. Nevertheless, it is still proved that CVM study has been successfully implemented. Facing the difficulty and exploring the reasons is necessary for improving future research.
In this study, the mean WTP in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Nanchang of China is compared in order to test the distance effects on the WTP for porpoise conservation, which is important to establish the market extent of porpoise conservation. When the total values of porpoise conservation are estimated, it is a key step to settle the market extent and to decide whose WTP should be taken into consideration when aggregating the values. Contrary to expectations, the WTP for porpoise conservation in China was not influenced by distance decay.
Furthermore, this study also compared the mean WTP between China and Germany. Until now, there are very few international comparisons of CVM studies. Most CVM studies concentrate on investigating people’s preferences for a certain environmental good in a local region or nationwide. YFPs are genetically unique in the world, living in the Yangtze River. It is very meaningful to know people’s preference for them outside China, because their conservation is not only important for Chinese people, but also for people all over the world. Germany is taken as an example. The final results indicate that the mean WTP in Germany is much higher than the mean WTP in China.
Yanyan Dong

Chapter 7. Conclusions

The overall aim of this research was to estimate the non-market values of the YFPs in Poyang Lake, by eliciting thoughtful and informed values from a number of people. Three important issues were put forward in accordance with findings from literature on economic theory, CVM, and the YFPs. These were to:
  • Find a way that enables individuals to construct preferences for an unfamiliar species, namely the YFPs
  • Test distance effects on WTP for porpoise conservation
  • Detect budget constraints on WTP
This concluding chapter is organized in two parts: Firstly, the results of the methodological and the policy-related implications of the study are summarized and secondly, recommendations for future research are suggested.
Yanyan Dong

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