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postgraduate thesis: Contingent valuation and residents' attitudes towards heritage tree conservation in Guangzhou (China)

TitleContingent valuation and residents' attitudes towards heritage tree conservation in Guangzhou (China)
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Hua, J. [華峻翊]. (2015). Contingent valuation and residents' attitudes towards heritage tree conservation in Guangzhou (China). (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689258
AbstractHeritage trees are a small cohort of trees with distinctive natural and cultural values embodied by biodiversity conservation, environmental quality improvement, historical and cultural connection, and aesthetical and recreational meanings. Worldwide urbanization, especially in developing countries like China, has brought pressures, such as damage from city construction and vandalism, to the survival of this natural-cum-cultural asset. Therefore, enhancing the conservation and protection of heritage trees based on the quantification of the values is necessary. A comprehensive understanding of citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) and influential factors is crucial for integrating citizens’ preferences into cognate conservation programs. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was applied in a questionnaire survey to identify local residents’ perceptions of, familiarity with, and WTP for heritage trees and the influence of the distrust belief of the government to residents’ WTP behaviors in the central built-up area of Guangzhou City. Chi-square test and analysis of variance were used to analyze people’s perceptions of values of heritage trees, use behaviors, and knowledge of heritage trees. Public WTP for heritage tree conservation was elicited through the payment card method and estimated through parametric and non-parametric approaches. Logit analysis and discriminant analysis were adopted to explore the differences between protest responses induced by distrust of government and non-protest responses. Results showed that Guangzhou residents had high perception of the values of urban heritage trees but relatively low familiarity with them. Guangzhou residents realized the importance of heritage trees but lacked access to the trees and relevant knowledge and information. On average, a household would be willing to pay RMB 32.85 with a 95% confidence interval of RMB 24.61 to RMB 41.08for a conservation project aiming to protect heritage trees in the central built-up area of Guangzhou City. Female residents with higher household income level and higher perception of the values of heritage trees would be more likely to pay more. In addition to familiarity, perception, and income level, residents’ distrust of the government (which is responsible for tree conservation) could affect residents’ WTP behavior, i.e., whether acting as protesters (rejecting the contingent market rather than revealing their true preferences) or not. Results suggest that protesters with distrust belief and non-protesters share similar salient values associated with heritage trees. Moreover, residents with low familiarity with heritage trees (those who rarely visit sites with heritage trees, know little about management and conservation techniques, and perceive the present management to be relatively ineffective) are more likely to act as protesters with the “distrust of government” belief than residents with high familiarity. The study provides a comprehensive understanding of the public’s WTP for heritage trees in Guangzhou and builds a link between ecological elements and policy making from the perspective of economic valuation. The study fills the research gap on contingent valuation of the natural-cum-cultural tree heritage, especially in China where CVM is increasingly utilized to inform governmental decisions. Furthermore, urbanites in China should be offered more opportunities of contact with heritage trees and other valuable natural resources to promote public participation in environmental conservation.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectTrees in cities - China - Guangzhou Shi
Dept/ProgramGeography
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/235744

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHua, Junyi-
dc.contributor.author華峻翊-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-14T23:25:47Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-14T23:25:47Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationHua, J. [華峻翊]. (2015). Contingent valuation and residents' attitudes towards heritage tree conservation in Guangzhou (China). (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5689258-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/235744-
dc.description.abstractHeritage trees are a small cohort of trees with distinctive natural and cultural values embodied by biodiversity conservation, environmental quality improvement, historical and cultural connection, and aesthetical and recreational meanings. Worldwide urbanization, especially in developing countries like China, has brought pressures, such as damage from city construction and vandalism, to the survival of this natural-cum-cultural asset. Therefore, enhancing the conservation and protection of heritage trees based on the quantification of the values is necessary. A comprehensive understanding of citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) and influential factors is crucial for integrating citizens’ preferences into cognate conservation programs. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was applied in a questionnaire survey to identify local residents’ perceptions of, familiarity with, and WTP for heritage trees and the influence of the distrust belief of the government to residents’ WTP behaviors in the central built-up area of Guangzhou City. Chi-square test and analysis of variance were used to analyze people’s perceptions of values of heritage trees, use behaviors, and knowledge of heritage trees. Public WTP for heritage tree conservation was elicited through the payment card method and estimated through parametric and non-parametric approaches. Logit analysis and discriminant analysis were adopted to explore the differences between protest responses induced by distrust of government and non-protest responses. Results showed that Guangzhou residents had high perception of the values of urban heritage trees but relatively low familiarity with them. Guangzhou residents realized the importance of heritage trees but lacked access to the trees and relevant knowledge and information. On average, a household would be willing to pay RMB 32.85 with a 95% confidence interval of RMB 24.61 to RMB 41.08for a conservation project aiming to protect heritage trees in the central built-up area of Guangzhou City. Female residents with higher household income level and higher perception of the values of heritage trees would be more likely to pay more. In addition to familiarity, perception, and income level, residents’ distrust of the government (which is responsible for tree conservation) could affect residents’ WTP behavior, i.e., whether acting as protesters (rejecting the contingent market rather than revealing their true preferences) or not. Results suggest that protesters with distrust belief and non-protesters share similar salient values associated with heritage trees. Moreover, residents with low familiarity with heritage trees (those who rarely visit sites with heritage trees, know little about management and conservation techniques, and perceive the present management to be relatively ineffective) are more likely to act as protesters with the “distrust of government” belief than residents with high familiarity. The study provides a comprehensive understanding of the public’s WTP for heritage trees in Guangzhou and builds a link between ecological elements and policy making from the perspective of economic valuation. The study fills the research gap on contingent valuation of the natural-cum-cultural tree heritage, especially in China where CVM is increasingly utilized to inform governmental decisions. Furthermore, urbanites in China should be offered more opportunities of contact with heritage trees and other valuable natural resources to promote public participation in environmental conservation.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshTrees in cities - China - Guangzhou Shi-
dc.titleContingent valuation and residents' attitudes towards heritage tree conservation in Guangzhou (China)-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5689258-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineGeography-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5689258-

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