|dc.description.abstracteng||The South Caucasus is a mosaic created of different cultures, political situations and an incredible variety of nature. Due to a very high number of plant and animal species, the Caucasus region is one of the biodiversity hotspots and allotted a markedly high priority for additional conservation measures. Implementing, extending and asserting nature reserves postulate significant costs in form of usage restrictions from local population living close to these areas, while the economic profiteers of biodiversity mostly are in countries of higher national income. As the South Caucasus is in a status, where the rural population is dramatically impoverished after the collapse of the Soviet System, any stringent restrictions on land use required by the establishment of protected areas is likely to meet substantial resistance. Subsistence farming became important for the rural population, therefore already existing protected areas opponents concerning the natural resource land and new established once have to handle situations of competitions of nature protection and human land use. In the present dissertation three empirical studies were made, which consider the issue of willingness-to-pay and willingness-to-accept for additional or less access to pastureland from different points of view.
The first study showed a large household survey conducted in Lake Arpi (Armenia), Samtkhe-Javakheti and Lagodekhi (both Georgia) in 2012. Average household data about employment work, farming, socio-economic information, living conditions and relationships towards the national parks were shown. The study introduced a choice experiment concerning a willingness-to-pay/willingness-to accept (WTP/WTA) for access to summer pasture, additional income sources and other natural resources. Additional income sources are bee-keeping/honey production training, cheese-production training and tour-guiding training. It is found that households of all regions are poor and have bad farming, infrastructure and utility grid supply. Land is the most competitive resource of protected areas and humans living in the buffer zones of these reserves. Summer pasture in all regions has high economic value, especially for subsistence income. In Lake Arpi WTP for 25% more access to summer pasture is 205 €, in Samtskhe-Javakheti 495 € and in Lagodekhi 99€ a year. WTP for additional income sources vary over the regions: In Lake between 35 – 61 € in Samtskhe-Javakheti between 92 – 106 € and in Lagodekhi it is 42 € a year. Tour-guiding training
is just significant in Lake Arpi. In Lake Arpi a WTA to accept a ban to collect wild plants exists with 302 € a year. People are dependent from natural resources for home consumption. In Samtskhe-Javakheti respondents would be willing to pay 1178€ a year to leave their StatusQuo. The CE is widely not influenced by gender. Age increases the WTP in Lake Arpi for a bee-keeping training and decreases the WTP for summer pasture and increases the WTP in Lagodekhi for cheese-production training about 2%. Higher education decreases the WTP for summer pasture in Lake Arpi and Samtskhe-Javakheti and increases it in Lagodekhi. Higher income increases WTP for additional income sources and reduces the WTA for a ban. Households know about see national parks close by as threat for their economic future.
The second study had focus on the regions Lake Arpi and Samtskhe-Javakheti. The national parks are twinning zones and were established together. It was analysed how attitudes of locals towards the specific national park influences the WTP/WTA of the choice experiment of the first study and where the attitudes come from. Female respondents seem to have more positive attitudes towards national parks, as well as older respondents. Higher education results in Lake Arpi in a better and in Samtskhe-Javakheti in a worse attitude. Mostly history of establishment is important for the attitude. Lake Arpi was created integrative and therefore results in a positive attitude; Samtskhe-Javakheti was established excluding locals from planning and results in a negative attitude. The WTP for additional trainings related to the national parks and biodiversity are increasing with having a more positive attitude. In contrast, WTA for access to summer pastures decreases. Integrating locals in national park management results in better attitudes and therefore lower compensation payments.
The last study examines the choice experiment referring other factors that have not been considered in previous studies: After the breakdown of the Soviet System little private land was assigned to the rural population of Armenia and Georgia. Inadequate land markets are existing in the countries and locals are dependent from communal pastureland. The influence of owning more private land and being less dependent from a communal good, which is competitive in the term of usage and protecting was analysed. Owning more private land decreases the WTP for additional summer pasture in all three project regions, while owning larger herds increases it. Most respondents wish to enlarge herds, but due to a lack of land and money, it is not possible.
The results showed, owning more private land decreases the WTA for a ban of collecting wild plants. Communal land is not only important as pasture, also for other natural resources for subsistence. Having larger herds reduces the WTA as these households have higher incomes and can afford goods. It also reduces the WTP for additional income sources; these are more likely interesting for people less dependent from livestock keeping but increases the WTP for livestock related trainings.||de