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Who visited urban forests and trails more or less during the COVID-19 pandemic and why? A case study in Salt Lake City, UT, USA

XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022









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    The effects of visit characteristics in urban forest on the individual life satisfaction
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Recently, the importance and effectiveness of the urban forest have been increasing with the quality of life of urban residents. Therefore, the study aims to understand how people use the forest for recreation and determine how the visit characteristics of the urban forest affect Individual Life Satisfaction (ILS). A nationwide survey (n=8,254) was conducted on the visit frequency, proximity to the forest and life satisfaction. To measure ILS, three questions (personal, relative, collective) of COMOSWB (Concise Measure of Subjective Well-being) developed by Seo et al (2011) are used. The analysis shows that people usually visit the forest within 10~30 minutes distance (31.8%) on a weekly basis (24.2%), by walk (41.4%) for exercise (41.0%) and relaxation (32.9%). As a result of the hierarchical analysis between visit characteristics and ILS with controlling demographic variables; the ‘frequency of forest visits (t=4.50**)’ and ‘proximity to the forest (t=2.764**)’ has a positive effect on ILS. In particular, ‘frequency of forest visits(β=0.056)’ has higher level of influence than that of ‘proximity to the forest (β=0.034)’ on ILS. In other words, frequent visits to forests far away from the place of residence can improve individual life satisfaction." The significance of this study is that it statistically determines that the frequency of forest visits and the proximity to the forest are important factors for ILS. Future studies should take into account the various qualitative factors of forest visitation such as vegetation, quantity and types of forest so that it will be possible to contribute to setting up a direction for urban forest development and management. Keywords: Human health and well-being ID: 3484619
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    Urban green space during COVID-19 outbreak: A comparison of city dwellers’ visitation
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    The global pandemic disease (COVID-19) has given temporary a positive effect to the environment condition and an extremely distressing impact to the social and economic sectors. Most countries-imposed lockdown and strict precautions to deal with this shock. These policy responses did decrease NO2 concentration and upgrade the air quality index in some countries. However, physical and mental health issues were reported to increase. Visiting urban green space could be one of the various solutions to address the problem even it may risk being exposed to the virus. This dilemma may affect the pattern of visitation urban green space in temperate and tropic countries. This study aims to understand how COVID-19 and government policy responses affect the visitation of a number of urban green spaces in temperate and tropic countries. The data were collected from Google Mobility Reports and John Hopkins University which had been retrieved by Our World in Data and SDG-Tracker of Oxford University. Six countries (Germany, Spain, Italy) representing temperate and Mediterranean and (Indonesia, Brazil, and Singapore) as tropic countries were chosen as study case from March to April 2020. The nation-wide lockdowns were implemented in Germany, Spain, Italy, and Singapore while Brazil and Indonesia decided to keep social distance and remotely working from home. These restrictions affected negatively to the visitation of urban green space in all countries except for Germany. Italy and Spain had the lowest percentage (up to -83.71%) of visitors during a high daily confirmed cases and strict measurements from the government at the end of March 2020 while Germany’s urban green visitors had increased up to 53.71%. Brazil had its lowest percentage number up to -61.57%, Indonesia declined up to - 43.29% and Singapore fell up to -68.14%. Keywords: urban green space visitation, policy responses, temperate, tropics ID: 3624053
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    Tourists’ willingness-to-pay for groundwater conservation, Mt Makiling, Philippines
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Mt Makiling is a dormant volcano that supplies hot water to springs and groundwater in Los Baños and Calamba City, Philippines, spurring the development of a resort-based tourism industry that is heavily extracting groundwater. The paper discusses the results of a contingent valuation survey that sought to evaluate the tourists’ knowledge about the resorts’ water source and use practices, reasons for visiting, willingness-to-pay for improved water conservation practices and the conservation of Mt Makiling as water source, and whether they would visit the resorts during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 50% of 492 respondents were aware of the resorts’ water source, with about half saying that the source is hot springs, but only a few were aware of groundwater as the water source. The main reasons for visiting the resorts are for relaxation and the resorts’ accessibility and affordability. The estimated mean WTP ranged from PhP75/visit (payment card) to PhP174/visit (dichotomous choice), and the respondents were willing to pay because they would like to contribute to the conservation of the groundwater resource of Mt Makiling and because groundwater is limited. On the other hand, some respondents were not willing to pay because they could not afford the additional amount and they perceive that they should not be made to pay for the cost of proper recycling of pool water. Most of the respondents said they would still consider visiting resorts during the pandemic to enjoy the pools and the environment and for the health benefits from the hot-water pools. A higher preference for private resorts was observed because these can be used exclusively by a group. The respondents who do not want to visit resorts during the pandemic said they would consider visits again if compliance with health and safety protocols would be assured. Finally, majority of the respondents recognize that the new health and safety standards for resorts will result in higher fees charged by resorts. Keywords: Mt Makiling, Los Baños, Calamba, contingent valuation, water conservation ID: 3618043

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