Human-elephant Conflict (HEC) is a significant problem in Nepal, with approximately two-thirds of households being impacted by elephants (Elephas maximus), particularly during the winter. In addition to elephant casualties, more than 10% of the households surveyed have had human casualties (injury or death) during the past 5 years. This study evaluates the economic viability of elephant conservation in Nepal within the context of current and proposed HEC mitigation scenarios. Face-to-face interviews were carried out using a structured questionnaire to elicit the residents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for elephant conservation and HEC mitigation programs using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR). Residents’ WTP was found to be positively related to income and education, and negatively related to damage-related programs. Local stakeholders were willing to pay about 42% more to programs that were economically transparent and improved upon existing management. Residents’ WTP were also greater if they have had previous HEC-related injuries or deaths.
Willingness to pay for mitigating human-elephant conflict by residents of Nepal
Dinesh Neupanea, Samrat Kunwar, Alok K. Bohara, Thomas S. Risch, Ronald L. Johnson Journal for Nature Conservation