Background: Despite exceptional ecosystem services are provided by Altash National Park, anthropogenic activities exert immense pressures on the parks’ natural resources from the surrounding community which is eventually degrading the productivity of ecosystem services. Therefore, the aim of this study was economic valuation of ecosystem services of Altash National Park of Ethiopia. Using systematic random sampling 196 sample respondents were selected. Double bounded dichotomous choice followed by open ended format of contingent valuation method was used to state households’ willingness to pay (WTP) and their maximum WTP for conservation of ecosystem services of the park. Seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model was employed to analyse the data.
Results: First and second offered bid values, Sex of respondent, Years of living in Kebele, Education status, Distance from home to park, Benefit of preservation, Distance from farm to park, Training on park conservation were found to have statistically significant influence on households’ WTP for improving conservation of ecosystem services of the park. The expected aggregate WTP from double bounded dichotomous choice and open ended format was estimated 1,511,172.96 and 1,526,194.56 birr, respectively.
Conclusions: Based on the findings, since all respondents were willing to pay for the conservation of ecosystem services of the park, for every decision and formulation of policies and strategies, participation of local communities should be considered. Finally, regular training and workshop should be delivered for local communities to enhance awareness about the environmental and economic values of the park and to develop sense of ownership.