Valuing forest ecosystem services: What we know and what we don't
Ecosystem services valuation has achieved considerable prominence in research and policy circles in recent years. This paper reviews the studies that have tried to estimate the value of forest ecosystem services. Broadly, this study addresses the following questions: (1) What insights do these studies provide on the value of forest ecosystems? (2) What lessons do they offer from an economic and policy perspective? (3) What are the shortcomings of the existing studies, and what are the challenges and issues for future research? Evidence from a cross section of forest sites, countries and regions suggests that not only the total valuation of ecosystem services varies widely across studies but also the valuation of individual services. This variation suggests that policies to conserve ecosystems and their services should emphasise local contexts and values. This paper concludes by discussing the shortcomings of existing studies, and suggests that, among other things, future research should focus on the neglected ecosystem services, ‘disservices’, assess the role of dynamic factors and environmental catastrophes on the provision of ecosystem services, and assess the benefits of keeping forests intact versus converting them to alternative uses.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kaiser, Brooks & Roumasset, James, 2002. "Valuing indirect ecosystem services: the case of tropical watersheds," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 701-714, October.
- van Beukering, Pieter J. H. & Cesar, Herman S. J. & Janssen, Marco A., 2003. "Economic valuation of the Leuser National Park on Sumatra, Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 43-62, February.
- Loomis, John & Kent, Paula & Strange, Liz & Fausch, Kurt & Covich, Alan, 2000. "Measuring the total economic value of restoring ecosystem services in an impaired river basin: results from a contingent valuation survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 103-117, April.
- Laura Nahuelhual & Pablo Donoso & Antonio Lara & Daisy Núñez & Carlos Oyarzún & Eduardo Neira, 2007. "Valuing Ecosystem Services Of Chilean Temperate Rainforests," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 481-499, November.
- Ninan, K.N. & Sathyapalan, Jyothis, 2005. "The economics of biodiversity conservation: a study of a coffee growing region in the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 61-72, October.
- Paul J. Ferraro & Kathleen Lawlor & Katrina L. Mullan & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, 2012. "Forest Figures: Ecosystem Services Valuation and Policy Evaluation in Developing Countries," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(1), pages 20-44.
- Patterson, Murray G., 2002. "Ecological production based pricing of biosphere processes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 457-478, June.
- Chomitz, Kenneth M & Kumari, Kanta, 1998. "The Domestic Benefits of Tropical Forests: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 13-35, February.
- Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1219-1227, April.
- David Pimentel, 2006. "Soil Erosion: A Food and Environmental Threat," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 119-137, 02.
- Barrio, Melina & Loureiro, Maria L., 2010. "A meta-analysis of contingent valuation forest studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1023-1030, March.
- Biao, Zhang & Wenhua, Li & Gaodi, Xie & Yu, Xiao, 2010. "Water conservation of forest ecosystem in Beijing and its value," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1416-1426, May.
- Matero, Jukka & Saastamoinen, Olli, 2007. "In search of marginal environmental valuations -- ecosystem services in Finnish forest accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 101-114, February.
- Guo, Zhongwei & Xiao, Xiangming & Gan, Yaling & Zheng, Yuejun, 2001. "Ecosystem functions, services and their values - a case study in Xingshan County of China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 141-154, July.
- Bernard, Florence & de Groot, Rudolf S. & Campos, José Joaquín, 2009. "Valuation of tropical forest services and mechanisms to finance their conservation and sustainable use: A case study of Tapantí National Park, Costa Rica," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 174-183, May.
- Laurie Johnson & Chris Hope, 2012. "The social cost of carbon in U.S. regulatory impact analyses: an introduction and critique," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 205-221, September.
- Croitoru, Lelia, 2007. "How much are Mediterranean forests worth?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 536-545, January.
- Tianhong, Li & Wenkai, Li & Zhenghan, Qian, 2010. "Variations in ecosystem service value in response to land use changes in Shenzhen," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1427-1435, May.
- Turner, R. Kerry & Paavola, Jouni & Cooper, Philip & Farber, Stephen & Jessamy, Valma & Georgiou, Stavros, 2003. "Valuing nature: lessons learned and future research directions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 493-510, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:137-149. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.