High School Students’ Conservation Values for Coral Reefs in Sagay Marine Reserve, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Studies on economic valuation rarely involved the youth in decision making. This study considered the youth, particularly high school students, as the respondents of the survey. The study may prove to be critical in considering the opinions and recommendations of the youth who may become environmental stewards of the future. Through stratified and systematic random sampling, 400 respondents were chosen from five public high schools in Bacolod City to determine their willingness to pay (WTP) for the conservation of the coral reefs in Sagay Marine Reserve. Data was gathered from 80 students per school through a group administered survey. High school students are willing to contribute resources and do volunteer work for conservation activity. The total WTP of the students amounted to Php 3,156,894.02 per month. The selected mode of payment was through student government collection. The top reasons for their decision to pay were: existence values, altruistic motive, and bequest value. The factors that affect the students’ WTP were bid price, household size, monthly income and perceived importance. This study amplified the roles of the youth in the conservation of natural resources. Indeed, the youth can be a valuable resource capital for coral reef conservation.