KualaSelangor Nature Park (also known as Taman Alam Kuala Selangor) was created in1987. It is located on the estuary of Sungai Selangor or Selangor River and hasan area of about 240 hectares of coastal land where a large part of it is mangroveswamps. Mangrove ecosystem also are extraordinary in that they protect thecoastline, serve as fish breeding ground, give refuge to diverse wildlife andsupply wood.
Kuala Selangor Nature Park is much more than just mangrove treesin a swamp. The Nature Park stretches over 800 acres of three distinct habitatwhich include inland secondary forests, muddy estuaries and mudflats, and abrackish lake that is inhibited by wetland animals. The area also has more than150 species of birds and an estimated 100,000 wading birds, comprising 30species, passing through here on their annual migration. Thus bird watching isperhaps one interesting activity in Kuala Selangor Nature Park. 1.
2EnvironmentalEducationActivitiesatKualaSelangorNatureParkEnvironmentEducation activities is conducted in Kuala Selangor Nature Park, thisactivities are primarily means for visitors who are interested in learning andbeing aware of the coastal environment in relation to its flora and fauna.Games organized by Kuala Selangor Nature Park officer are fun and educationaloriented and have objectives oriented learning. The activities are generallyconducted for a group of more than 20 person.
Then, there are two trails andone walkway in KSNP as of May 2016. They are the Main Trail traversing thesecondary forest (550 meters), Bund Trail encircling the lake (1.7 km) andMangrove Walkway extending into the mangrove forest (1.5 km). These lastapproximately 15 minutes, 75 minutes and 55 minutes to walk respectively.
Besides that, there are two watch towers that provide views of the area, andbirds and other animals can be seen from the top of watch tower platform. Also,there are some gazebo for the visitors to rest in the park. 1.2PROBLEMSTATEMENT Althoughpublic awareness on the importance of conservation of natural resources hasincreased, but their understanding of the benefits of preserving naturalecosystems is still low. This is largely due to the difficulty in measuringbenefits in more substantial forms.
As stated by Smith 1993, people who assumein protecting of the forest resources, wildlife, land and water by notharvesting them are waste. Financial short-term returns are more importantwhich to determining the returns for development and social goals of conservationare often given lips – services. Then, for the goods traded on the market,prices are often accepted as benefits or value indicators to buyers. However,interest leads are harder to estimate for the benefit of not having marketprices. Benefits to an individual may be attributed to direct and indirect insitu use and non-use or intrinsic values. (Turner 1997) stated that the totaleconomic value or use of natural resources includes both use and non – usevalue. For use value in the direct service values, the benefits budget iseasier.
For example, in mangrove ecosystems, humans derive direct use value in theform of output such as wood for timber, fish, and charcoal other than the needsor value of services such as recreation, which have no market price. Thus, theresearcher want to study about the value of mangrove forest especially towardsrecreationist in the Kuala Selangor Nature Park, which we know that ecosystemservices now is not traded in the market and its value are not easy to beestimated. It’s being ignored by the economy, local habitants and industry. Thus,the importance of mangrove has been underestimated despite being critical andfragile ecosystem because of the effect from human actions. This we can seethat human use this ecosystem services to get their resources without thinkingabout the effect.
However, the effect of tsunami on 2004 has created theoccasion that realizing the ecological significance of mangroves towardsenvironment and human well-being. Thus,assessment method such as Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) have been developedin this study which to assumed that the maximum willingness to pay (WTP) can beused to infer contributions of the visitors to the conservation of the mangroveecosystem recreational purpose in Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP).