Lithuanian parks valuation using contingent valuation method

Imantas Lazdinis, Vitalija Rudzkienė, Vytautas Azbainis

Abstract


The rapid development of protected ecosystems and the large set of restrictions protecting the ecosystems are losing public support and causing stakeholder dissatisfaction Protected areas in many EU countries which provide socio-economic benefits are not evaluated, nor is it prepared socio - economic benefit calculation method. Rising problems show that these questions have too little emphasis on academics, research, and public support. There are many problems in measurement of development and innovation of protected areas.
This study attempts to evaluate the selected Lithuanian national and regional parks using the contingent valuation method. This is pilot study whose results cannot be applied to general population.
Evaluating such public goods as parks is a difficult task, because it is not the object that has a market price. It is impossible to apply a comparative analysis in order to determine the value. In this case, the scientists trying to measure the value using behavioural models, i.e. they are trying evaluate prices of the goods by human behaviour and preferences or they are trying evaluate using hypothetical models, where just considered opinion of the people, regardless of their behaviours.
The design of the contingent valuation method is flawed because it is not based on behaviour model. The subjectivity of this method is one of the largest in non-market valuation methods. Another problem is choosing the right question in survey. The answer can be influenced by type of question. Despite some negative features, this method is easy to use and provides information that other model simply is unable to provide. Using contingent valuation method it is possible to determine not only the value of the use but also non-use value. Another positive feature of this method is that results using this method are similar to results receiving with other methods. It is a major contributor to the validity, because you can get a similar value at a lower cost and in less time.
The pilot study results shows that many survey respondents do not visit Lithuanian parks. It was unable to determine the value of the parks because respondents do not have enough information about them. Survey also shows that many respondents want to have a house in the park, though building new houses in the park is forbidden.
The prevailing opinion about necessity of the parks shows that certain approaches are fashionable, but most parks are unattended and respondents have no interest in them. This situation should be changed. Future more accurate valuation researches needed to determine whether the problem of this pilot study is real and relevant. If this were the case, should be taken right tools to inform people about the parks and their benefits. The parks should be developed in accordance with the needs of society.
This pilot research results indicate that it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and determine whether general population are interested in parks or not. And we need to find out whether lack of information about the parks is indeed a problem in Lithuania.

Keywords


Lithuanian national and regional parks; contingent valuation method; valuing benefit

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