Valuing Natural Ecosystems: The Case of National Park Kotychi-Strofilia in Peloponnese, Greece

The present work values an extremely sensitive and protected ecosystem in the Southern Peloponnese, namely the National Park of Waterfalls of Kotychi – Strofilia, which comprises one of the largest pine forests in Europe (Strofilia) and several important wetlands and lagoons (Kotychi). The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) has been implemented for valuing the ecosystem services of the park in question and depicting how the results of the analysis can be used for decision making. The analysis was supported by a survey of the residents of the wider area, through the completion of an appropriately designed questionnaire, with a view to estimate the expenditures that are socially acceptable to be allocated for its restoration and protection. The results showed that the mean willingness to pay per household to protect the national park under consideration ranges between 5.5-9.5 EURs/semester for a period of 4 years, leading to a total value of the ecosystems in question of 14.7-25.5 million EURs.

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