Sacred groves have significance in socio-culture and biodiversity conservation. This study evaluated local people perceptions regarding conservation of sacred groves for water-services, through willingness-to-pay (WTP), willingness-to-accept (WTA) and willingness-to-labour-work (DLP). Data were collected through a pre-tested questionnaire from 107 randomly selected households in 18 villages of Uttarakhand. The villages were categorised into 3 classes (core, nearby, faraway) based on proximity to the forests. The contingent-valuation method was used to evaluate WTP [Rs 3,802 (≈$57)] and WTA [Rs 38,224 (≈$571)] for water as an ecosystem-service and statistical-analyses were performed to evaluate whether factors such as gender, age, household-income and location explained differences in the parameters. It was found that gender had a significant impact on WTP, with women having higher WTP, and that location had significant impact on WTA. The result shows that WTA increased with increasing distance from the sacred-groves (Rs 43,077 ± 21,139 in faraway-villages and Rs 35,323 ± 10,483 in core-villages). The results indicated that consideration of gender inequality and education status in villages should be included in planning and decision making about participatory forest management of sacred-groves. These findings facilitate forest-resource-management in mountains and provide guidance for programmes and policies dealing with irrigation, drinking-water and community development.


  • Sacred grove has role in biodiversity conservation.

  • Gender has role on WTP especially the women are more willing to pay for conservation.

  • Distance from sacred grove has an important role on WTA.

  • In planning & decision making about participatory forest management of sacred groves gender equality and status of education should be considered.

  • Identification of this aspect will facilitate forest resource management in mountains.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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