Combining focus group discussions and choice experiments for economic valuation of peatland restoration: A case study in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

M. Schaafsma*, P. J.H. van Beukering, I. Oskolokaite

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study explores the benefits of combining results of qualitative focus group discussions (FGDs) with a quantitative choice experiment (CE) in a low-income country context. The assessment addresses the compensation needed by local communities in Central Kalimantan to cooperate in peatland restoration programs. The main policy message of the study is that such programs would have to provide arrangements that secure a stable income and food supply, as well as create awareness of the long-term benefits of peatland restoration. The results of this study demonstrate the value of combining qualitative and quantitative methods to improve the reliability and validity of studies assessing the value of ecological services. FGDs prove to be paramount to understanding the underlying attitudes and motives towards the proposed scenarios and its institutional context. FGDs provide the possibility to identify the specific terms and conditions on which respondents would accept land-use change scenarios and help to understand preferences regarding the distribution of costs and benefits over time. Yet the individual CE responses offer important quantitative information about the magnitude of welfare changes associated with restoration. Moreover, the privacy of the elicitation process avoids peer-pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalEcosystem Services
Issue numberPart A
Early online date21 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


The authors would like to thank all CKPP partners for their cooperation: CARE International Indonesia, WWF-Indonesia, BOS - Mawas, the University Palangka Raya and Wetlands International. We appreciate the support from the Wetlands International Headquarters in the Netherlands and from an ESPA Early Career Fellowship Grant (FELL-2014–104) with support from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Finally, we are grateful for the constructive comments of three anonymous reviewers and the feedback of Luke Brander.

FundersFunder number
Economic and Social Research Council
Natural Environment Research Council
China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation
Department for International Development


    • Choice experiment
    • Focus group discussion
    • Indonesia
    • Mixed methods
    • Peatlands
    • Valuation


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