Identification and valuation of ecosystem services in the Mount Apo Natural Park, the Philippines, as a basis for exploring the potential of 'payments for environmental services' for the protected area management

  • Aurelia Luzviminda Villena Gomez

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Protected areas are the cornerstone of global biodiversity conservation. In the Philippines, the establishment of protected areas is intended to protect biodiversity and other natural resources and values. Protected area management in the Philippines is severely hampered by a funding shortfall. This research was designed to explore whether users and beneficiaries of ecosystem services delivered by one protected area in particular, the Mount Apo Natural Park (MANP), were deriving a consumer surplus and were willing to pay for more environmental services to be delivered in the MANP.

    The research developed a new understanding of (i) the types of ecosystem services delivered the by the MANP, (ii) value of individual services and the total economic value of the MANP, and (iii) how various payment for environmental services (PES) schemes could add financial resources for the management of the MANP and deliver livelihoods for people living within or adjacent to the MANP.

    The research adopted a mixed-methods approach, using quantitative research in the form of a contingent valuation survey of resource users and beneficiaries (household water users, climbers and the general public) as the primary method. The survey included qualitative components and extensive consultations were also undertaken with stakeholder representatives.

    The research provides empirical evidence that users and beneficiaries of the MANP ecosystem goods and services derive unpaid benefits from watershed protection, recreation, and biodiversity conservation. The resulting lower-bound estimate of the total economic value of the MANP was PhP 6482 million (AUD 152.5 million) annually or PhP 118 thousand (AUD 2774) per hectare (in 2010 prices). The research reveals that there is clear potential for PES schemes to generate funds in support of effective management of the MANP. PES schemes for watershed protection or to support recreational values present the greatest potential as payment mechanisms already exist. A PES scheme for biodiversity conservation is likely to be the most challenging to design.

    Recommendations are provided, based on survey results and international literature, for developing PES schemes to support effective protected area management in the Philippines, in the context of the MANP case study.
    Date of AwardAug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRomy Greiner (Supervisor)

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