Title: Expert Group and Workshop on Valuation of Forest Ecosystem Services
Publisher: Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe FOREST EUROPE LIAISON UNIT MADRID
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC96739
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC96739
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Forests create multiple benefits for the society, providing renewable raw materials and play an important role in human wellbeing, biological diversity, the global carbon cycle, water balance, erosion control, combating desertification and the prevention of natural hazards, among others. Forests contribute to environmental stability, economic prosperity and offer social, ecosystem and recreational services. The improve the knowledge about ecosystem services, its value and natural capital allow us to see the direct ways in which we depend on the natural environment and how local policy makers can address policy challenges in many different areas. The main difficulty of the Forest Ecosystem Services is that most of the services provided lies on the goods and services that are not traded in markets, making difficult to directly observe their values without a market. Also these non-market goods and services are supplied to either the society or certain groups of users, for free or at a symbolic price which is far below the production costs. As forest owners are not compensated in monetary terms for their provision, they could be less inclined to contribute to generate them. This attitude can lead to the diminution of availability of these services in an adequate quality and quantity. One of the possible solutions in order to avoid this loss is to apply financing mechanisms which allows the owners to keep offering the valuable ecosystem services. That requires knowledge on the estimated value of these services. Valuation of FES and the development of mechanisms to deliver these values are still being developed and introduced in many countries. Some countries have been active for some time, both in research and practice. The principle of establishing markets in less tangible, non-market ecosystem services has become a widely accepted principle in other countries like USA, but there have been signs in parts of the pan-Europe region of growing interest in this approach in recent years with some notable developments in practice. Following the Oslo Mandate action on estimating the full value of forest ecosystem services across Europe with a view to using common valuation approaches, this document tries to display some the latest works performed within the pan-European Region. Also the request for values to be increasingly reflected in relevant national policies and market-based instruments such as payments for ecosystem services was an important point to be taken onboard. We are aware that literature is extensive and it is difficult to reach common and unique positions and so the contribution of the participants in both the scopes of the Working Group and the Workshop, created specifically to help us to fulfill FE Programme of Work, was very much appreciated. Extraordinary recognition should be paid to Ms. Katerina Ventrubova, Mr. Jose Barredo and Mr. Pat Snowdon, leaders of the three Subworking Groups in whose works this document is based. Their efforts and help deserve our highest appreciation. Also, special thanks are owed to the Republic of Serbia, for hosting the Workshop and their endless support.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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