Valuing Ecosystem Services in the Lower Mekong Basin: Country Report for Thailand
The park, the country’s third largest, is renowned for its recreation, tourism, and research opportunities, attracting between 500,000 and 1 million visitors every year. This translates into a significant economic impact: Researchers estimate the total economic value to visitors and non-visitors at nearly $186 million per year.
This examination focused on two valuation techniques - travel cost and contingent valuation. They are part of a range of ecosystem services that can be broadly captured by three categories: cultural, provisioning, and regulating and maintenance. The report explains how to assign monetary values for each and includes best practices.
It then highlights several policy venues in Thailand where ecosystem service valuation can play a role. These include policies related to protected areas and conservation, agriculture and aquaculture, urban growth and development, and power development.
It notes that roughly 80 percent of the Greater Mekong’s 300 million people depend directly on the goods and services that its ecosystems provide. Therefore, if decision makers want good information about economic wellbeing in the Lower Mekong Basin, which includes Thailand, they must use ecosystem service valuation tools.