Economic Valuation of Forest Tree Environmental Service Functions in Abeokuta Metropolis, Nigeria.
An economic valuation of the environmental service functions of forest trees in Abeokuta metropolis was performed using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). This was to elicit Willingness To Pay (WTP) values from the respondents as means of ascribing monetary values to urban forest tree service functions. The respondents were 200 in number. They were purposively selected from among small scale business enterprises (SSBE) operating under forest tree covers and their customers. The results showed that the respondents were willing to pay various amounts ranging from N400 to N1000 (1 USD = N150) monthly for tree services. The modal value was N400 with the highest percent of response (51%). This amount summed up to a total of N21,743 per month which represents the monetary values of forest tree environmental service functions in the study area. It can be concluded from this study that the respondents valued the environmental services of forest trees to the extent that they are willing to contribute part of their income towards the continued existence of the trees in the area. The reduced model of the multiple linear regression indicated that age and educational status of respondents are some of the factors by which willingness to pay for environmental service functions of forest trees can be explained and predicted in the study area.
Key Words: Contingent valuation, Forest trees service functions.