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Optimal Location of New Forests in a Suburban Area

Author

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  • Ellen Moons

    ()

  • Bert Saveyn

    ()

  • Stef Proost

    ()

  • Martin Hermy

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we develop a methodology to select a combination of forest sites that maximizes net social benefits taking into account restrictions on the total surface/size of new forest land. We use GIS technology to estimate for each site the major cost and benefit elements including lost agricultural output, timber and hunting values, carbon sequestration, non-use and recreation benefits. Special emphasis is placed on the recreational value of a potential site as this raises two issues. First, the recreation benefits of a base site estimated via the travel cost method need to be transferred to all potential sites. Second, the recreation benefit of each potential site depends on the existing sites and on the other sites that are in the selection. We show that the same ‘amount’ of afforestation (i.e. the same total surface divided into multiple sites at varying locations) creates a wide range of potential net social benefits due to the role of a varying set of recreation substitutes.We show that the net social benefit of new forest combinations respecting the area constraints may differ up to a factor 21. The substitution effect between forests, both new and existing, turned out to be the dominant factor in the benefit estimation. Compared to the existing literature, our paper improves the methodology by working with realistically feasible sites rather than grid sites, by including the complex recreation substitution effects between potential sites and by including all costs and benefits of afforestation bringing the analysis closer to a real cost benefit analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen Moons & Bert Saveyn & Stef Proost & Martin Hermy, 2005. "Optimal Location of New Forests in a Suburban Area," ERSA conference papers ersa05p58, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p58
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa05/papers/58.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Drake, Lars, 1992. "The Non-market Value of the Swedish Agricultural Landscape," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 19(3), pages 351-364.
    2. Bart Muys Stef Proost & Gaby Deckmyn & Ellen Moons & Juan Garcia Quijano & Stef Proost & Reinhart Ceulemans, 2003. "An integrated decision support tool for the prediction and evaluation of efficiency, environmental impact and total social cost of forestry projects in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0306, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    3. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
    4. Richard T. Carson, 2011. "Contingent Valuation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2489.
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    Cited by:

    1. DE VALCK, Jeremy & BROEKX, Steven & LIEKENS, Inge & DE NOCKER, Leo & VAN ORSHOVEN, Jos & VRANKEN, Liesbet, 2015. "Contrasting the collective social value of outdoor recreation and the substitutability of nature areas using hot spot mapping," Working Papers 208359, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    2. Alejandro Caparrós & Emilio Cerdá & Paola Ovando & Pablo Campos, 2010. "Carbon Sequestration with Reforestations and Biodiversity-scenic Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 49-72, January.
    3. Ellen Moons & Sandra Rousseau, 2005. "Policy design and the optimal location of forests in Flanders," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0505, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    4. 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.
    5. Rousseau Sandra & Moons Ellen, "undated". "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: An Application to the Flemish Afforestation Policy," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0606, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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