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The Net Benefit of Saving the Asian Elephant: A Policy and Contingent Valuation Study

  • Bandara, Ranjith
  • Tisdell, Clement A.

Reports results from a contingent valuation survey of willingness to pay for the conservation of the Asian elephant of a sample of urban residents living in three selected housing schemes in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Face–to–face surveys were conducted using an interview schedule. A non-linear logit regression model is used to analyse the respondents’ responses for the payment principle questions and to identify the factors that influence their responses. We investigate whether urban residents’ willingness to pay for the conservation of elephants is sufficient to compensate farmers for the damage caused by elephants. We find that the beneficiaries (the urban residents) could compensate losers (the farmers in the areas affected by human–elephant conflict) and be better off than in the absence of elephants in Sri Lanka. Therefore, there is a strong economic case for the conservation of the wild elephant population in Sri Lanka. However, we have insufficient data to determine the optimal level of this elephant population in the Kaldor-Hicks sense. Nevertheless, the current population of elephant in Sri Lanka is Kaldor-Hicks preferable to having none.

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Paper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 48968.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:48968
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