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


  • Aline Chiabai


  • Chiara Travisi


  • Anil Markandya


  • Helen Ding


  • Paulo Nunes



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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  • Aline Chiabai & Chiara Travisi & Anil Markandya & Helen Ding & Paulo Nunes, 2011. "Economic Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Services Losses: Cost of Policy Inaction," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(3), pages 405-445, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:50:y:2011:i:3:p:405-445
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-011-9478-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ding, Helen & Nunes, Paulo A.L.D., 2014. "Modeling the links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing in the context of climate change: Results from an econometric analysis of the European forest ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 60-73.
    2. Ojea, Elena & Martin-Ortega, Julia, 2015. "Understanding the economic value of water ecosystem services from tropical forests: A systematic review for South and Central America," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 97-106.
    3. Moritz A. Drupp, 2018. "Limits to Substitution Between Ecosystem Services and Manufactured Goods and Implications for Social Discounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 69(1), pages 135-158, January.
    4. World Bank, 2013. "India : Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges, Volume 3. Valuation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in India," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16029, The World Bank.
    5. Stefan Baumgärtner & Alexandra Klein & Denise Thiel & Klara Winkler, 2015. "Ramsey Discounting of Ecosystem Services," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(2), pages 273-296, June.
    6. Aline Chiabai & Dirk Rübbelke & Lisa Maurer, 2013. "ICT applications in the research into environmental sustainability: a user preferences approach," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 81-100, February.
    7. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:35-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Srinivasan, Raghavan & Anderson, Weston & Kato, Edward, 2014. "Assessing the economic benefits of sustainable land management practices in Bhutan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1361, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Drupp, Moritz A. & Meya, Jasper N. & Munz, Jan M. & Quaas, Martin F., 2016. "Income inequality and willingness to pay for public environmental goods," Economics Working Papers 2016-04, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    10. Jan Philipp Schägner & Luke Brander & Joachim Maes & Volkmar Hartje, 2012. "Mapping Ecosystem Services’ Values: Current Practice and Future Prospects," Working Papers 2012.59, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.


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