Does one size fit all? Heterogeneity in the valuation of community forestry programs
Through the implementation of a choice experiment valuation exercise, this study set out to identify the set of community plantation attributes that impact the welfare of potential community forestry program participants. We employed a combination of choice models to evaluate the preferences, welfare impacts and choice elasticities associated with alternative community forestry programs, allowing for different assumptions regarding heterogeneity. In line with economic theory, increased participation costs reduced the demand for community forestry, while increases in expected productivity raised the demand. With respect to preferences for the other alternatives considered: type of forest, area enclosure and type of land upon which the forest was to be situated, the results point to significant differences in preferences across the study population, suggesting that programs should be tailored to the communities in which the program is to be implemented.
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