Date of this Version
Open Journal of Forestry, 2016, 6, 191-198
Increased urbanization coupled with increased reliance of urban communities on rural areas for ecosystem service provision is a challenge faced by many nations. The ability of urban households to directly support restoration efforts in surrounding rural regions represents an underappreciated funding stream for ecological restoration. This study explored the willingness of urban households to support forest restoration in Vietnam. We surveyed 211 households (HHs) in the capital city Hanoi, Vietnam. A Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE) model allowed us to obtain the parameters of our model and quantify mean Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for a program of forest restoration in addition to identifying factors influencing the decision of WTP. Generally, over forty percent of the households surveyed are willing to pay for forest restoration and the mean value of WTP is 37,830 VND ($1.73) per household per month. WTP depends on endogenous and exogenous factors including level of education, income, female-to-male ratio in the household, attitude toward payment for monthly electricity consumption, and awareness of payment for environmental service. Our results suggest that urban household’s demand for forest restoration is real, and represents an untapped source of restoration funding. Policy-makers should take actions to apply charges on water bills to turn this potential into reality for restoration projects in Vietnam if the benefits from restoration outweigh the costs based on our findings.