Capturing and explaining preference heterogeneity for wetland management options in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania

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Springer Science+Business Media


Wetland degradation has recently received considerable research attention. Although wetlands are valuable ecosystems, their actual value is difficult to measure because the services they provide often do not have market values. The current study seeks to investigate the preferences for wetland management options in the Kilombero Valley, central Tanzania using choice modeling. The results show that both respondents from the Kilombero Valley and Morogoro Municipality desire improvements in the condition of the wetlands. This indicates that the ongoing degradation is not socially optimal. A second finding is that the preferences for wetland conservation are heterogeneous and can be linked to livelihood characteristics. Communities living in the area, for example, are highly dependent on the wetland for their livelihood and would be impacted by conservation measures. Therefore, in order to reduce the pressure on wetlands, it is necessary and imperative to explore the options for alternative income-generating activities or to focus, for example, on technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness in crop production.


Journal of Environmental Management, 2015; 55:100–112


Wetlands, Choice modeling, Preference heterogeneity, Valuation-willingness-pay, Kilombero Valley, Tanzania