Can we trust the data? : methodological experiences with forest product valuation in lowland Bolivia
Uberhuaga, Patricia del Carman
Smith Olsen, Carsten
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Forest products are important to rural households across virtually all forest types in developing countries. There are, however, only few comprehensive and systematic efforts at valuing these products and determining their absolute and relative economic importance to rural households. Having used the novel income survey approach developed by the global Poverty and Environment Network (PEN), this paper presents methodological experiences with forest product valuation in lowland Bolivia. Household (n = 118) data was collected in six communities in the Tropics of Cochabamba from February 2006 to January 2007. Households used a large number of products, including 151 forest and non-forest environmental products. Valuing all these products was time consuming but possible using the households’ own-reported values. Even for non-traded products useful values can be estimated. Generally, using households' own reported estimates result in aggregate unit values with satisfactory properties.