A methodological road map to value changes in forest ecosystem services under alternative management scenarios
Trade-offs exist among the diverse ecosystem services (ES) provided by forests. Changes in forest management aiming to increase wood production can conflict with the storage and sequestration of carbon, biodiversity conservation and the quality of water originating from forest catchments. Currently only forest products are adequately priced on markets, which incentivizes forest managers to overproduce wood to the likely detriment of other, valuable services to society. Information on the impacts of different forest management practices on ES is urgently needed by stakeholders. Only with a solid information basis can policymakers and forest managers make well-founded management decisions to achieve environmental and sustainability goals.
In order to reduce ES trade-offs and maximize the value of forests to society, it is necessary to assess the effects of management changes on forest ecosystems and provide an economic valuation of changes in flows of ES. This can be achieved by linking the results from forest ecosystem models to economic valuation methods. The Action Group aims to strengthen this link by developing a methodological road map for translating the outputs of forest ecosystem models into relevant economic terms. The Action Group will be based on collaboration between researchers from two disciplines: forest ecosystem modellers studying the responses of forests to environmental changes and economists valuing changes in forest ES from society’s perspective.
Read the Action Groups presentation here.