|dc.description.abstract||Many rural households in southern Africa rely on a range of woodland resources for their
livelihoods. In addition to direct use values, rural households also obtain indirect use
benefits from the woodlands resources. These include ecological services such as soil
protection and nutrient cycling; and social values such as shade and aesthetic values.
The value of woodland resources to rural households in southern Africa has been
researched extensively. Most of these studies assess direct use values, which are
expressed in monetary terms. In contrast, there are fewer studies that assess indirect use
values of woodland resources, and even fewer studies that assess non-monetary values.
Non-monetary valuation is important to add to the knowledge gained through monetary
This study was undertaken as part of a national investment by the Department of Water
Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) on Sustainable Woodlands Utilization and Management in the
country. The aim of this study was to establish monetary and non-monetary values
associated with indirect use benefits of woodland resources in three rural villages in
northern KwaZulu-Natal. A pilot study was undertaken to pre-test the data collection
techniques before the main survey. The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) and
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) were used to investigate monetary and non-monetary
values during the pilot study. Data collection techniques involved interviews using semi structured
questionnaires, direct observation, group discussions and resource mapping.
The pilot study established that, due to its inherent properties, CVM was not the best
method for this particular context (rural area in a developing country). In comparison, PRA
techniques were more useful in obtaining meaningful data on the value of indirect-use
benefits of woodlands.
The main survey was undertaken using PRA techniques that included, in addition to the
techniques used during the pilot study, contingent ranking. Interpretive categorization was
used to analyze qualitative data. Quantitative data analysis involved the description of
data, and results presented using descriptive statistics, tables and graphs. Excel
spreadsheets were used for data storage and processing.
The study established that rural households were acutely aware of the indirect-use
benefits of woodland resources. Respondents were able to describe indirect use benefits in
terms of social functions and ecological services provided by woodlands. Age, gender and
remoteness of village seem to influence the value assigned to the identified woodland
benefits. Ranking of the indirect use benefits revealed higher values for ecological services
compared to social functions. Female respondents generally assigned greater values for
both ecological and social services, compared to their male counterparts. All respondents
concurred that the contribution that woodlands make to their livelihoods is Significant.
The aim of the study was to investigate monetary and non-monetary values of indirect use
benefits of woodland resources. The first part of the aim was not achieved, due to the
incompatibility of the CVM to the study area (illiterate and semi-literate respondents in a
rural setting). In terms of non-monetary values the study succeeded in demonstrating that
rural households value woodland services highly, through their contribution to their
livelihoods and well-being. The study concluded that the entire contribution of woodland
resources to rural households is still not fully comprehended. To ensure the sustainability
of woodland resources, the need to fully understand their contribution to rural livelihoods