The Codru Quest: Economic Valuation of the Ecosystem Services of the Codru Protected Area
These are the datasets for the project entitled "The Codru Quest: Economic Valuation of the Ecosystem Services of the Codru Protected Area". It was a scientific research initiative of the organization Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA) on the economic valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity in the Codru forest and the protected area of the Codru Nature Reserve within it in the Republic of Moldova. The main goal of the project was to apply the choice modelling technique in this developing country to estimate and present the indirect use and non-use economic values of ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation in the above-mentioned forest and the protected area. The Codru Quest was designed to answer a number of research questions, namely: 1. How do Moldovan citizens perceive such environmental non-market “goods”, as ecosystem services and biodiversity in the Codru forest? Specifically, how much do they value environmental benefits, especially those unrelated to direct use of natural resources, coming from the forest and the protected area within it? 2. Considering the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve, how much are people willing to pay annually to conserve ecosystems and biodiversity there? 3. How do Moldovan citizens benefit from forest ecosystem services and biodiversity? What is their attitude towards their conservation? Finally, how do these benefits and attitudes in combination with socio-economic characteristics influence people’s willingness to pay for better nature conservation? The results of the Codru Quest study showed that while the respondents were opposing to the expansion of the protected area and the conservation of more plant species, they were willing to pay about 0.77 EUR per person per visit for conservation of greater insect biodiversity and approximately 0.87 EUR per person per visit for better protection of endangered species of both flora and fauna. This corresponds to a total WTP of 2688.19 EUR per year for the first attribute of the environmental “good” in question and 3027.92 EUR per year for the second one. These monetary estimates represent mainly the recreational, existence, bequest, and altruistic values that Moldovan citizens attach to ecosystem services and biodiversity in the study area. The Codru Quest data here include: 1. Datasets for Phases I (testing of survey design) and II (final surveying) of the project with separation into city and village residents. 2. Dataset with final willingness to pay data from Phase II. 3. Dataset with socio-economic data of the respondents from Phase II. 4. Data from Phases I and II processed in the R software.
Steps to reproduce
The Codru Quest data represent the answers of 100 Moldovan respondents from the city Chisinau collected during Phase I (testing of survey design) of the project and the ones of 201 residents of Chisinau and nine villages around the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve (Lozova, Stejareni, Capriana, Micleuseni, Huzun, Horodca, Bursuc, Dragusenii Noi, and Condrita) gathered during Phase II (final surveying). The respondents were interviewed with the use of the specially designed choice modelling survey available here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdsbJi2Ms-spYhKz8Gv8aChXKqgAw3tL2oYMMJuE-JKJ_d3Dw/viewform https://issuu.com/megageneration/docs/mega_-_the_codru_quest_-_your_choic_c693af527b6995 The data were processed with the use of the R statistical survey. The estimation environment and results are included in the data files here.