The Economic Value of Natural Features in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Research Brief

Visitors to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, located between Botswana and South Africa, are concerned about the kind of activities that take place within the park. This is not surprising, given the highly fragile Kgalagadi ecosystem. In our study, visitors assigned a monetary amount to the value they derive from pristine tourism opportunities. If this monetary value is greater than the amount that local communities assign to their livelihood activities in the park, then one group can compensate the other. The results of our study imply that visitors want more recreational zones, which entails preventing local communities from extensive use of environmental resources in the area. Our results indicate that significant benefits could be obtained from a program aimed at imposing resource use restrictions inside the park, charging higher fees to visitors, and compensating local people for refraining from activities that degrade the park ecosystem.

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Publication | 20 March 2014