This paper is carriedout to estimate the economic value of Wetlands in most developing countriessuch as Malaysia, based on Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). Wetlands arecrucial ecosystems that provides benefits to all mankind. It is the mostproductive ecosystem that provides numerous goods and services to localcommunities. Yet, vast areas of Malaysia`s wetlands have undergone ecologicaldamages and environmental degradation. Malahsia is a country that haveextensive coverage of wetlands, ranging from coastal mangroves to inland peatswamp forests to mountainous rivers and lakes.
Approximately 12% total landarea is covered by wetlands. The major threats to the sustenance of manywetlands in Malahsia includes; human settlement, use of land due toconstruction of house, recreation, and tourism (Chape et al., 2008).
Moreover,population growth has increased the demand for food and shelter and has led toagricultural expansion and land development. These activities are acceleratingwetland loss and environmental degradation. In peat swamp forest in Malahsiafor example, about 44% of the total area was cleared for timber logging, while36% of the land was drained for agricultural activities.Several measures havebeen taken to ensure the preservation of further wetlands damages, whichincludes the establishment of national parks in and around wetlands. Theestablishment of national park has protected area aiming to secure uniqueecosystem. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and NaturalResources (IUCN), founded in 1948 defined protected area as” an area of landand sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biologicaldiversity and of natural and associated cultural resources and managed throughlegal or other effective means” (IUCN, 1994). However, it has been said thatmost tourism development around wetlands causes depletion of wetlands resourcesdue to the pressure from visitor`s congestion and overcrowding, which mayrequire high cost of ecosystem restoration.
However, value is something that is very crucial in economic. Theabsence of information about the economic value of wetlands have serious policyimplications because it is assuming to be a public good which have free access.In order to prevent further wetlands degradation, it is imperative for parkmanagements to adopt pricing policy by charging entrance fee to visitors of thewetlands. This implementation has been proved to be effective in places of highvisitation because it helps to reduce overcrowding and overexploitation of theresources as well as curtailing the free-rider problem. The visitors fee helpsin achieving adequate financial resources that would be garner forconservation, restoration of ecosystem functions and the maintenance of therecreational facilities and services that would guarantee the sustainability ofthe wetland.
For example, in 2008 a number of 9,645 visitors were recorded,which has increased to 88,591 visitors in 2012. However, to justify the pricing policy, the need for economic analysisis necessary to inform the communities of the economic value associated withwetlands. Examining the willingness to pay (WTP) of the visitors to wetlands isa useful tool in determining the entrance fee that will be acceptable bydifferent class of visitors. This paper isstructured as follows: Assessing the economic value that visitors placed forthe purpose of conservation. Specifically, this paper elicited the amountrespondents were willing to pay (WTP) to conserve the National Park inMalahsia.
It also investigated thevariables which might be used to model this economic valuation. A briefliterature review that focuses on contingent valuation method (CVM). Thenseries of steps were followed in CVM studies to design survey questionnaire.And at last preliminary analysis on our elicited information will be described.