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Valuing the invaluable: park visitors' perceived importance and willingness to pay for urban park trees in Pakistan

Malik, A., Zubair, M. and Manzoor, S. A. ORCID: (2021) Valuing the invaluable: park visitors' perceived importance and willingness to pay for urban park trees in Pakistan. Ecosphere, 12 (1). e03348. ISSN 2150-8925

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3348


In complex urban systems, urban parks are rare hot spots of nature, responsible for delivering a range of ecosystem services. Trees are critically important components of urban parks that provide many benefits, and, at the same time, face challenges such as lack of funds, mismanagement, climate change, pests, and diseases. There is a growing need to increase the urban tree cover to sustain urban ecosystems. Successful policymaking requires engagement with all stakeholders, especially park users. An understanding of how people's perceptions of the benefits and challenges faced by urban park trees is pivotal to making decisions that have long-standing support. We surveyed 521 park visitors in Multan, Pakistan, to assess their valuation of urban park trees, their understanding of the challenges faced by trees, and their willingness to pay (WTP) for increasing tree cover in urban parks. We found that people widely appreciated the ecosystem services provided by park trees. Provision of oxygen, shade, and clean air was considered the greatest benefits while cutting down, lack of space, and urbanization were perceived as the biggest challenges to trees. Respondents showed a WTP and believed in government–public cooperation for increasing tree cover. Income, age, and education were significant predictors of WTP. The study reflects findings in other development and geography contexts and highlights the need for broader dissemination of information on critical threats to park trees and underlines the potential for engaging locally to maximize effectively in the management of park trees.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:96118


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