Valuation of Choke Mountain Range Wetland Ecosystem, East Gojjam, Amhara Region, Ethiopia: Application of Choice Experiment Valuation Method

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Addis Ababa University


Choke Mountain Range Wetland Ecosystem is one of the most productive natural resource of the country. The mountain is considered as the water tower of the Upper Blue Nile River (or Abay in Amharic). More than 59 rivers and 273 small springs which are the main tributaries of Blue Nile or Abay originate from this mountain. In addition to approximately 3386 km2 wetland area, the mountain is endowed with resources for potential recreation. The main attractions of the mountain include the existence of an impressive landscape, unique and common biological diversity and the cool temperate agro-ecological (Wurch) zone. However, the resources are facing critical problems of high degree of exploitation and degradation. Some of the responsible factors for the degradation of the area are limited awareness of the society about the multidimensional values derived from these mountain wetlands, ever-mounting population pressure, over grazing and lack of intervention by government. Consequently, 607 km2 of seasonal wetland with low moisture and 22.4 km2 of open water of the mountain have lost within the last 20 years. In addition to this much fauna and flora species also disappeared. To assign monetary values for the multi-functions and services offered by this mountain wetland ecosystem, the study applied choice experiment valuation method by using four identified attributes i.e. biodiversity, water availability, recreational facilities and lastly the monetary payment attribute. Multinomial and random parameter logit models were used to analyze the data collected from a sample of 250 respondents (farmers). All the attributes were significant in affecting the probability of choosing an alternative scenario and had the expected sign except negative effect of biodiversity. The result for biodiversity is perhaps because of farmers’ expectations about the negative effects of future policy change on their current consumption of the mountain resources and perhaps limited awareness about the use and non use values derived from biodiversity. But the marginal willingness to pay for availability of water was the highest (birr 155 annually) which was followed by availability of recreational facilities (birr 36 per year). Moreover, the estimated compensating surplus for high impact improvement scenario, medium impact improvement scenario, and low impact improvement scenario were birr 444, birr 490 and birr 143 respectively.



International Economics