Characterizing members of a small community willing to support an integrated micro-watershed management plan
Keywords:Micro-watershed, integrated watershed management, contingent valuation method, Heckman selection model, willingness-to-pay
AbstractThis research sought to devise and test a methodology to characterize the members of a small community who were likely to support activities associated with the implementation of an integrated micro-watershed management plan (IMWMP). It was proposed that the supporting members would perceive that they would receive ecological benefits which would increase their utility. Thus a methodology was devised and tested to identify and characterize these individuals. The proposed methodology was tested in a micro-watershed in the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Contingent valuation was used to identify the supporting individuals by their willingness to pay (WTP) to improve the ecosystem by contributing to a fund to undertake restorative activities. A Heckman selection model was then used to determine the characteristics of these individuals, and they were younger members of the small community, male, individuals with higher levels of income and education, and who were not the heads of the households. Age was the only factor found to determine the level of WTP, with the younger villagers stating higher levels of WTP.