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Assessing the economic and ecosystem services contribution of forests: issues in modelling, and an illustration

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This paper develops methodology for valuing forest ecosystem services. It reviews alternative approaches to modelling the forestry sector's contribution to well-being. It subsequently extends existing techniques of costbenefit analysis to the forestry sector and illustrates the application of the methodology through a case study of the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. The extended methodology captures variations that occur because of ecological aspects of forests, sustainability concerns regarding extraction from forests and aggregation issues in valuing ecosystem services. It also incorporates concerns about biodiversity valuation, particularly in protected areas. The paper highlights the importance of recognising local variations in forest values, adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to valuation and the relevance of using more than one policy instrument for managing forest ecosystems.
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Keywords: costbenefit analysis (CBA); economic valuation; forest ecosystem services; methodology; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi 110007, India and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi 110003, India. 2: Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relation, New Delhi 110003, India.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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