Evaluation of welfare functions of environmental amenities: A case of forest biomass fuels in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
This study is an empirical investigation of welfare functions of forest biomass fuels in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. The want parameter of welfare function was found to vary with household's current fuel consumption which reflects people's amenity aspirations shift with the amenity level attained. Furthermore, current wood consumption and welfare sensitivity parameter are also influenced by individual's environmental entitlements rather than economic entitlements. Resource scarcity induced by physical scarcity or institutional–legal constraints leads to resource conserving attitude, but not without loss in perceived well-being. Communal conservation of energy is also observed whereby large households are more energy conserving than small households. Regarding biomass use and consumption, monetary income does not guarantee satisfaction, but heightens people's wants. Thus, rural development programs should not focus on economic empowerment only but also on environmental sustainability and fair resource use rules.
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