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Economic Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Services Losses: Cost of Policy Inaction

Keywords: forest ecosystem goods and services; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; value-transfer, meta-analysis; market and non-market valuation

Author(s): Aline Chiabai,Chiara Travisi,Anil Markandya,Helen Ding and Paulo Nunes

Date: 2010-09-13

Issue: 2010-13

  Download this working paper (403 KB.)


This paper presents a bottom-up methodological framework for estimating some of the key ecosystem services provided by forests biomes worldwide. We consider the provision of wood and non-wood forest products, recreation and passive use, and forests’ contribution to climate regulation in terms of carbon sequestration capacity. The valuation framework derives per hectare estimates by applying meta-analysis, value transfer and scaling up procedures in order to control for existing heterogeneities across world regions and forest biomes. The first part of the study estimates stock values per hectare for each forest ecosystem service in the baseline year 2000 and in the year 2050. Carbon stocks represent, in general, the highest value per hectare, followed by provisioning services, passive use and recreational values. The second part provides an estimation of the welfare loss (or gain) associated with policy inaction in the period 2000-2050 leading to a change in the forest area. Welfare results are mixed and require a careful interpretation. In different world regions, no policy initiative can results in both gains and losses, which appear to be sensitive to the use of lower or upper bounds values per hectare.

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