Valuing trade-offs between local forest uses and environmental services in Tunisia

Published on

Successive afforestation programmes undertaken in Tunisia have doubled the forest surface area in the last 50 years. A choice experiment exercise was used to estimate the social welfare associated with a plantation programme in Tunisia. The application dealt with different environmental services, and access of local users to the forest. The results show that having access to the forests for recreational activities has an average willingness to pay of 6.46 Tunisian dinar (TND) per person and year, for five years.

In contrast, limiting access to the afforested areas for grazing and other uses decreases the overall welfare by 5.63 TND per person and year. An individual marginal value of 4.29 × 10−5 TND per ton of CO2 sequestered was obtained. Furthermore, a 1% decrease of dam sedimentation is worth 2.16 TND per person and year. However, results are subject to heterogeneity, particularly regarding rural and urban populations. The paper highlights that preferences for environmental services depend on socio-economic attributes, the welfare of local users could lower due to restricted access to the forest. It was found that population heterogeneity influenced the valuation results and is to be considered in policy designs based on this type of studies.

Full reference: 

Daly-Hassen H., Riera P., Mavsar R., Gammoudi A., García D., 2017. Valuing trade-offs between local forest uses and environmental services in TunisiaJournal of Environmental Economics and Policy, 1-15.