At a conservation crossroad : The bahoruco-jaragua-enriquillo biosphere reserve in the dominican republic

Gómez-Valenzuela, Víctor; Alpízar, Francisco; Ramirez, Katerin; Bonilla-Duarte, Solhanlle; Lente, Harro van


This paper assesses the Dominican Republic’s willingness to pay (WTP) for a conservation, restoration, and sustainable development program for the Bahoruco-Jaragua-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve (RBJBE). Created in 2002, the RBJBE covers approximately 4858 km2, of which approximately 900 km2 correspond to the sea surface. With three core conservation zones, the RBJBE constitutes a complex space with a history of conflicts rooted in exploiting natural resources and social and economic issues. At the same time, it is a biodiversity hotspot of global importance. We present a Contingent Valuation Method to estimate the WTP for a conservation and restoration program called PROBIOSFERA. The non-parametric and parametric estimates of the WTP are DOP 165.00 (≈USD 2.94) and DOP 181.88 (≈USD 3.25), respectively. The socioeconomic variables that positively affect the WTP are income level, educational level, and age. The ecosystem services that are statis-tically related to WTP are the provisioning and supporting services. Regardless of the monetary valuation scenarios defined, the estimated annual monetized aggregated welfare associated with the RBJBE for Dominican society is DOP 7.2 billion (≈USD 128.1 million).