The local recreational and cultural value of nature on Saba
his thesis is part of the project ‘What is Saba’s nature worth?’ a collaboration between the IVM, VU University Amsterdam and Wolfs Company. The aim of this study is to value the nature of Saba, a small Dutch Caribbean island. This small island faces a number of threats, which can harm the environment. Saba is home to unique ecosystems and its inhabitants have a strong link with their natural environment. The scope of this research is to determine the recreational and cultural value of this natural environment on the island to its residents with the use of economic valuation methods. Saban inhabitants were interviewed, during a household survey, on how much they are willing to pay for nature management on their island. The willingness to pay was determined by a choice experiment conducted as part of the household survey. With the choice experiment, the annual willingness to pay (WTP) per household for additional environmental management can be determined. The analysis shows that more than half of the respondents on Saba are prepared to pay for nature management on the island. The total WTP per year of all Saban residents for additional environmental management is 143,201 USD. This WTP is attributable to the different aspects that are considered in the experiment: the coastal waters, the natural landscape on the island, the Saba Bank and the management of free-roaming goats on the island. All aspects are valued positively by Saban households. The research furthermore creates insight in the perception of Saban residents on the natural environment on their island.