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The Codru Quest: The Codru Quest: Your Choice Your Choice Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy

Survey on the value of benefits from the Codru Nature Reserve, forest, and biodiversity there in relation to their protection and expansion.

Survey on the value of benefits from the Codru Nature Reserve, forest, and biodiversity there in relation to their protection and expansion.

Contact: hello@megageneration.com 18.11.2016


Dear Friend,

We are researchers from the Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA; www.megageneration.com). We are interested in nature conservation and its relation to people's well-being in Moldova.

We are conducting this survey in order to understand people's attitudes to and valuation of benefits coming from the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest when they are better protected, developed, and expanded through reforestation and biodiversity conservation activities.

Your answers are going to be treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your permission.

And as a reward for completing the survey you will get the chance to win a gift voucher worth 300 MDL or 300 experience points that allow you to order the prizes of your choice available at our MEGA Shop: http://megashop.megageneration.com. The winners of both 300 MDL and 300 XP points are going to be chosen by random selection and contacted personally by e-mail.

Thank you in advance!

Yours Truly, The MEGA Team

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Your Introduction

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Firstly, we would like to get to know you, dear Friend, as well as your background. Please answer the first simple questions below.

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What year were you born in?

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Are you:

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What is your marital status?

_________________________________________

(choose one)

Male? …………………………………………

Female? …………………………………………….

(choose one)

Not married ……………………………….

Living in a relationship ……………………….

Married ……………………………………..

Separated or divorced ……………………….

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________

4 5

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Where do you live?

(choose one)

In a city ……………………………………….

On the outskirts of a city …………….

In a village ………………………………………….

What is your highest education level?

(choose one)

Primary school (classes 1 - 9) ……..

University, Bachelor degree ………………

Secondary school (classes 10 - 12)

University, Master degree …………………

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________


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What is your main occupation? Not working (unemployed, on leave, pensioner, etc.) ………………………………………….

Working at home / freelancer ……

Pupil / student …………………………………..

Salaried worker ………………………….

Independent farmer ………………………….

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________

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Are you involved in an environmental organization (as a member / activist / volunteer / supporter)?

(choose one)

Yes ………………………………………………………….

No …………………………………………………………..

Don’t know …………………………………………….

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Have you visited the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest in the last two years?

(choose one)

No matter what answer you choose here, your answers to further questions of the survey are still valuable to us. Therefore, please continue further. Yes ………………………………………………………….

No …………………………………………………………..

Don’t know …………………………………………….


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Attitude


Now, we would like to know about your general interest in natural environment and attitude towards nature. Please answer the questions below.

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How would you characterize your own interest in nature and environment protection in general?

(choose one)

It is OK not to have any interest – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason.

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Large ……………………………………………………….

Medium ………………………………………………….

Small ………………………………………………………

None ………………………………………………………

Don’t know …………………………………………….

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What is your attitude towards:

Existing Nature Reserves with forests in Moldova? Expansion of existing Nature Reserves and forests in Moldova? Establishment of new Nature Reserves with forests in Moldova?

Very positive

Positive

Neutral

Negative

Very negative

Don't know


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Experience


Now, we would like to know about your experience in nature and specifically in a forest. Please think about your experience in a forest (Codru or any other in Moldova) that had taken place in the past year. Especially try to recall your latest visit to a forest that you have made to experience the nature there. And now, please answer the questions below.

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How often have you visited a forest in the last twelve months? (choose one) 0 times ……………………………………….

6 – 10 times ……………………………………….

1 – 5 times …………………………………

More than 10 times …………………………..

Don’t know ………………………………..

What activities did you do the last time you visited the forest? Went for a walk ………………………….

Studied nature …………………………………..

Went for a run ……………………………

Watched animals ……………………………….

Attended a guided tour ……………..

Collected insects ………………………………..

Visited a museum of nature ……….

Enjoyed silence ………………………………….

Took photos ……………………………….

Organized a picnic ………………………………

Picked berries / mushrooms / flowers / seeds, etc. ………………………………………………

Don’t know ………………………………..

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________

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How much time did you spend on your last visit to the forest? (choose one) Less than 1 hour …………………………

3 – 5 hours …………………………………………

1 - 2 hours ………………………………….

More than 5 hours …………………………….

Don’t know ………………………………..

How far do you live from the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest?

(choose one)

Less than 1 km ……………………………

6 – 10 km …………………………………………..

1 – 5 km ……………………………………..

More than 10 km ……………………………….

Don’t know ………………………………..

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Do you have another forest that you can visit near your location? (choose one) Yes ………………………………………………………….

No …………………………………………………………..

Don’t know …………………………………………….


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Choice


In order to answer the following questions, please read the description carefully and thoroughly.

In the Codru forest.

Where? The Codru Nature Reserve is a nationally protected area that covers approximately 5175 ha of the Codru forest located in the Straseni, Hincesti, and Ialoveni regions. It is administered by the state agency Moldsilva in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of Moldova. The Codru Nature Reserve consists of 720 ha of strictly protected zone that can be accessed only for official research and nature conservation activities and 4455 ha of buffer zone, where visitors are allowed under the permission of the Codru Nature Reserve’s administration.

Present territory of the Codru Nature Reserve.

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These days, access to the buffer zone and excursions in the Codru forest are free. Only visits to the Museum of Nature situated in the administration building near the forest have a cost of 20 MDL for adults, 10 MDL for students, and 100 MDL for a guided walk. The Codru Nature Reserve has about 1000 species of protected plants, representing half of Moldova’s flora, and approximately 8000 species of insects and other invertebrates.

Present biodiversity of protected plants and insects in the Codru forest.

Some of these species are symbolic to Moldova, such as the plant small-flowered black hawthorn (Crataegus pentagyna) and the insect stag beetle (Lucanus cervus), both pictured below. There are only a few representatives of these species remaining in the Codru Nature Reserve: while walking in the buffer zone of the Codru forest you might be able to observe 1 or 2 of them.

Crataegus pentagyna.

Lucanus cervus.

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What? In the coming years, the Ministry of Environment of Moldova, Moldsilva, and the Codru Nature Reserve administration are going to work together to develop a new plan to further protect and develop the forest and its biodiversity, as well as the benefits they provide to local communities and people like you. This survey is aimed at informing them and influencing their decision on the new plan by investigating how you and other members of your community value different improvements to the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest. Depending on the survey results, the territory of the Codru Nature Reserve might be enlarged by annexing additional forest areas near the Capriana village, as well as through reforestation. The territory of the strictly protected area, where the natural forest is protected but no visitors are allowed, might also be enlarged. This will result in larger populations of protected species, including the symbolic black hawthorn (Crataegus pentagyna) and stag beetle (Lucanus cervus), in the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest.

How does it affect me? Now imagine that in order to cover the costs of implementing the new Plan, a visitor price to attend the buffer zone of the Codru Nature Reserve and enjoy the Codru forest will be introduced. It means that you will have to pay a certain price every time you decide to visit this place.

What now? Now please consider the following choices carefully and select your preferred scenario with its visitor price in each question. Remember to imagine that depending on your choice the accessible buffer zone in the Codru Nature Reserve, the Codru forest and nearby territories that you can visit and use will be affected. Also remember, that the extra expense paid for visiting the forest will affect your available income for other needs, such as food, clothes, transportation, savings, other recreational activities, etc. This means that you should have enough income to cover the cost of whatever scenario you choose in the following questions. You can also choose the current state of the forest with no price (Scenario 0 in all questions), which means that the new Plan will not be introduced, and things remain the same as they are now. Please notice that all the questions are separate, isolated questions. The numbers in the chosen alternatives are not intended to be added up across them.

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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Which of the following 3 scenarios of development of the Codru forest and the Codru Nature Reserve would you prefer? (Remember to imagine that the nature areas in the forest and nearby that you visit and use will be affected)

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Choose one scenario:

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How certain are you in your choice of the scenario above? (It is OK to be uncertain – your answer will be no less valuable for that reason) Very uncertain …………………………..

Certain ……………………………………………….

Uncertain …………………………………..

Very certain ……………………………………….

Neither certain nor uncertain …….

Don’t know ………………………………………..


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Reasoning


In the questions of this section we would like to know your reasoning for the choices you have made previously. Please answer the questions below.

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The forest, specifically Codru, offers a lot of important benefits to its environment, local communities, and people like you. Do you think we should pay for these benefits that the forest gives us, just like we pay for other services (water, electricity, cable TV, internet, etc.)?

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(choose one)

Yes ……………………………………………..

Don’t know ………………………………..

No ………………………………………………………

Do you think your willingness to pay would have been different, if instead of paying a visitor price to the Codru Nature Reserve you Page | 22

had been asked to pay an increased local tax that would be directed to protecting biodiversity in the Codru forest and increasing the territory of the Codru Nature Reserve?

(choose one)

Yes, it would have been significantly higher …………………………………………………………..

Yes, it would have been somewhat higher …………………………………………………………….

Yes, it would have been somewhat lower ……………………………………………………………..

Yes, it would have been significantly lower ……………………………………………………………

No, it would remain the same ……………………………………………………………………………….

Don’t know ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………


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Did you make your choices of scenarios on the basis of all 5 characteristics?

(choose one)

Yes, I largely based my choices on all characteristics …………………………………………….

No, I only focused on the characteristic, which I consider the most important …….

Don’t know ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

To what extent did the specific characteristics influence you choices between the alternative scenarios? None

Little

Some

Very much

Don't know

Total territory of the Codru Nature Reserve

Number of species of plants conserved

Number of species of insects conserved

Presence of symbolic species: hawthorn (Crataegus pentagyna) and stag beetle (Lucanus cervus)

Price to visit the Codru Nature Reserve and forest

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To what extent were your choices between the alternative scenarios based on the following considerations? None

Little

Some

Very much

Don't know

Scenario's influence on plants and animals in the Codru forest

Scenario's influence on the recreational opportunities in the Codru forest

Scenario's influence on the wellbeing of communities living near the Codru forest

Scenario's influence on my personal use of the Codru forest

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Did you choose „Scenario 1” or „Scenario 2” in at least one of the previous choice questions?

(choose one)

No …………………………………………………………..

Yes ………………………………………………………….

If yes, why are you willing to pay the price(-s) you had chosen for the improvements included in these scenarios? I am very interested in the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest ……………….

I believe we should protect the Codru forest ecosystem for the plants and animals mentioned in the survey ……………………………………………………………………………………….

I believe the improvements will be beneficial for me and my family …………………….

I am interested in the benefits the improvements might bring to other people and communities ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I consider that nature in Moldova must be preserved for future generations ………

I generally want to contribute to nature conservation in Moldova ……………………….

I am willing to support the improvements no matter the cost ………………………………

I would like to preserve and improve all forests in Moldova, not just Codru …………

I feel happy and satisfied to support a good and noble cause ……………………………….

I believe that I will not really have to pay any extra price for the improvements ….

I feel like I was expected or morally obliged to do so in this survey ……………………….

Don’t know ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________

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Did you choose the "Scenario 0" in all the questions? No …………………………………………………………..

Yes ………………………………………………………….

(choose one)

If yes, why? The other scenarios were too expensive for such cause ……………………………………….

I cannot afford to pay such large sums, as were given in other scenarios …………….

I already pay enough when I visit the Codru Nature Reserve and forest ……………….

Nature and forests are not a priority for me ………………………………………………………….

I am not interested in the Codru Nature Reserve and forest ………………………………..

I have another forest nearby that I visit ………………………………………………………………..

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The Ministry of Environment / the Codru Nature Reserve administration / the Government should finance this development, not citizens …………………………………

I do not believe that the improvements in the Codru Nature Reserve and the Codru forest can be achieved through the increase in visitor prices ……………………………….

The questions were too difficult for me to answer ……………………………………………….

Don’t know ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Other – Please indicate: ............... _________________________________________


Your Background

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Finally, we would like to relate your choices in the previous questions to your and your household’s available income in order to better understand these choices. For this reason, please answer the following questions about your financial situation. We remind you that all your answers will be confidential and will be treated anonymously. They will not be disclosed to anyone without your permission.

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What is your personal gross income per month?

(choose one)

Less than 1000 MDL …………………..

5000 – 6999 MDL ……………………………….

1000 – 2999 MDL ……………………….

7000 – 8999 MDL ……………………………….

3000 – 4999 MDL ……………………….

9000 MDL or more …………………………….

Don't know / Don't want to answer ………………………………………………………………………

What is your household gross income per month?

(choose one)

Less than 5000 MDL …………………..

15000 – 19999 MDL …………………………..

5000 – 9999 MDL ……………………….

20000 – 24999 MDL …………………………..

10000 – 14999 MDL …………………..

25000 MDL or more …………………………..

Don't know / Don't want to answer ………………………………………………………………………

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Your Contact Info

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If you would like to enter the lottery and get the chance to win a gift voucher worth 300 MDL or 300 XP points to order the prizes available at our MEGA Shop (http://megashop.megageneration.com), please answer the final questions below. Your answers to these questions will be used only for the lottery. If you are chosen as one of the winners of the lottery, we will use your contact information to reach you directly.

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Your name and surname:

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Your telephone number:

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Your e-mail address:

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_________________________________________

_________________________________________

_________________________________________ Page | 30

Your postal address: _________________________________________ _________________________________________

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Would you like to receive the results of "The Codru Quest" research when they are ready?

(choose one)

Yes ……………………………………………..

No ……………………………………………………..

If you have any comments or feedback for us, please use the text field below to write them: __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________


Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for answering the survey! Your contribution is very valuable to the success of the research.

If you would like to contact us, please visit our website www.megageneration.com, send us a message to hello@megageneration.com, or follow us at www.facebook.com/mega.md.

We wish you a MEGA excellent day!

Yours Truly, The MEGA Team

Photos: Alexandr Iscenco, Cornelia Sirbu, and Gabriela Isac Design: Alexandr Iscenco and Ruxanda Vihrest Content: Alexandr Iscenco and Elena Ungureanu with the support of Tim de Kruiff and Felipe Fausto

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Playing for Impact

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The Codru Quest: Your Choice. Phase II (ENG)  

Complete questionnaire in English for interviewers to conduct the study on economic valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity (Phase...

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