龚亚珍等：Exploring the value of overseas biodiversity to Chinese netizens based on willingness to pay for the African elephants&#039; protection
For a long time, Chinese people have been considered to be concerned only with commercial interests but not ecological systems and biodiversity conservation, even though their trade and investment footprints are globalizing rapidly. This study intended to reveal the non-market valuation on the non-use value of African elephant to Chinese people. Taking the ban of ivory trade as the background, in this study, Chinese netizens'
willingness to pay for African elephant conservation was investigated using the contingent valuation method. Four versions of questionnaires were designed and distinguished by offering different background information and payment vehicles (tax and donation). It was demonstrated that the differences in both given information and payment vehicles had no significant impacts on the estimated mean willingness to pay value. 53.36% of the respondents gave positive responses for the hypothetical projects of African elephant protection. The mean willingness to pay was 83.62 RMB (12.59 USD) and 158.58 RMB (23.88 USD) per year per household and the aggregated willingness to pay or benefits for the protection of African elephants from Chinese netizens were estimated to be 16.31 billion RMB (2.45 billion USD) and 30.92 billion RMB (4.65 billion USD) per year after grouping regression and benefit transfer adjustments, respectively. The current research shows that Chinese people, living thousands kilometers away from Africa, have a high public awareness for and valuation to the endangered elephants.