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The loss of large areas of tropical forests has become a major concern of the world community. Although there are many causes of tropical deforestation and forest degradation, an important cause appears to be an undervaluation of forests by markets and governments. One reason for this undervaluation is that many forest products, such as food and medicinal products, are traded in informal markets for which there are little data. Another reason is that many services provided by forests, such as carbon storage, biodiversity protection, recreation, and watershed protection, are not traded in markets; hence, their economic values are often ignored. Even where environmental values are recognized, they may not be measured or used to promote efficient resource management. This volume examines some causes of tropical deforestation and explores forest valuation issues in context of a protected area project. The study sets out the context of tropical deforestation and loss of biodiversity and provides a framework for examining the economic value of forests. It also presents a detailed case study of Madagascar that illustrates the practical application of the techniques of analysis to the valuation of forests.

Publisher: World Bank

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