cultural value

The recreational and cultural value of nature on Saba (policy brief)

Policy Brief

 

The Challenge
Local people call Saba ‘The Unspoiled Queen’, showing how proud Saban residents are of their history and the ‘unspoiled’ nature of the Caribbean island. However, many human induced pressures such as construction, solid waste and invasive species threaten the resilience of the ecosystems of the island. It is important
to understand how the people of Saba benefit from nature in order to support decision-makers in sustainable development.

The Approach
By researching the Willingnes-To-Pay (WTP) for nature conservation by Saban residents, the benefit that local people derive from their natural resources is quantified. A survey was conducted to determine the value households attribute to the protection of nature on their island. Around 300 households on Saba participated in this valuation survey, and respondents reflected on various issues such as the main threats to nature, the benefits that the natural environment brings, and their usage of the local ecosystems.

Results & Recommendations
The WTP of the total population of 900 households to maintain the quality of marine and terrestrial ecosystems is estimated at around US$150,000 per year. Residents identified oil spills, solid waste and erosion as the most severe threats facing the natural environment on Saba. Results of the WTP analysis demonstrate that nature plays a crucial role for the residents; threats are seen as a communal problem, signalling the solidarity of the Saban community and its culture. People are willing to pay for improved management of the roaming goats for example. They have requested more communication on nature management policies. The study shows that improvement in nature management will benefit the community by contributing to the island’s economy and its cultural identity. 

Data type
Other resources
Theme
Education and outreach
Geographic location
Saba

The recreational and cultural value of nature on St Eustatius (policy brief)

Policy Brief

The Challenge
Sint Eustatius, or as the local population calls it, Statia, has beautiful dive spots,
a rich historical and archaeological heritage and a national park with ecosystems that are used for local recreational and cultural value. However, the small size
and fragility of the islands ecosystems make it vulnerable to disturbances that are caused by human activities. In order to respond effectively to these threats and develop St Eustatius in an equitable and sustainable way, it is vital to determine the value of nature to its residents.

The Approach
By researching the Willingnes-To-Pay (WTP) of the residents of St Eustatius for nature conservation, the importance of nature for the population is quanti ed. A survey was conducted in order to determine the value that households attribute to the protection of speci c aspects of nature on their island. Around 400 households on St Eustatius participated in this valuation survey, and respondents re ected on various issues such as the main threats to nature, the bene ts that the natural environment brings, and their usage of the local ecosystems.

Results & Recommendations
The WTP by the 1,200 Statian households to maintain the quality of marine and terrestrial ecosystems is $200,000 per year. Approximately half of the households are in principle willing to pay for nature management. The management of free roaming livestock is strongly supported by the local population. Furthermore, residents identi ed oil spills, solid waste and car wrecks as the most important perceived threats. Strengthening the resilience of ecosystems will support economic development and the wellbeing of its residents in the long run. Raising awareness about threats to ecosystems is key in order to successfully implement nature management strategies on the island that will be supported by the local population. 

Data type
Other resources
Theme
Education and outreach
Geographic location
St. Eustatius

The local cultural and recreational value of nature on St Eustatius

St Eustatius, is a small island in the Caribbean and a special municipality of the Netherlands. As many other small islands, St Eustatius’ marine and terrestrial ecosystems are vulnerable to external disturbances, such as natural disasters but also pressures from human behaviour. Multiple stresses can lead to degradation of ecosystems, if these are not able to recover until the next disturbance. As ecosystems provide benefits to people, so called ecosystem services, the value of these services decreases, as the ecosystem degrades. Economic valuation of ecosystem services identifies the costs and benefits of human interaction with nature, e.g. construction, and helps to develop long-term development strategies that take ecosystem services into account. This research is evaluating the local recreational and cultural services that ecosystems on St Eustatius provide to their residents and their value to the inhabitants, as part of a larger study on the total economic value (TEV) of the island’s natural environment. To this end, a household survey with an embedded choice experiment is used. The results of the survey show that: (1) Half of the population has a general willingness to pay (WTP) for nature management; (2) the biggest perceived threats to the environment are oil spills, solid waste and invasive species; and (3) that the people of St Eustatius want see livestock on the island fenced and archaeology managed. The total aggregated annual WTP of all households on St Eustatius for the conservation of terrestrial land is 29,000 USD and for the marine ecosystems 65,000 USD. Residents of St Eustatius are willing to pay 41,000 USD for the management of archaeological heritage. An interesting result is that the people are keen on managing the roaming livestock by contributing additionally 64,000 USD on an annual basis. 

Date
2014
Data type
Research report
Report number
R-14/10
Geographic location
St. Eustatius