Special Issue "The Economics of Forest Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research − UFZ, Department of Economics, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Interests: economics of ecosystems and biodiversity, economic instruments, socio-economic valuation of envirnmental goods, governance research
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forests provide multiple provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting ecosystem services to humans: They deliver wood and food, store carbon, regulate the water cycle, protect against natural hazards, offer opportunities for recreation, and are important areas of biodiversity. Many of these services are local or regional, but some of them are also of global importance—as, for example, the carbon forests store of the Amazon basin. Following the international TEEB study, “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”, the diverse ecosystem services which forests provide have to be recognized, valued, and effectively integrated in private and public decision making. For those ecosystem services that are public goods and therefore particularly prone to loss, this requires the development of adequate policy instruments and governance mechanisms. While typical patterns and direct drivers of deforestation are well established, there are still significant gaps in understanding how underlying economic drivers shape the dynamics of forest loss and degradation in a world marked by rapidly globalizing natural resource value chains. This holds particularly for global and climate change drivers and for forests in the Global South.

This Special Issue on “The Economics of Forest Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity” addresses this theme in three perspectives. First, it explores how direct and proximate economic factors—and their interplay with other drivers of global change—catalyze forest degradation and deforestation. Second, it contributes to our knowledge about valuing forest ecosystem services and biodiversity from different valuation perspectives and incorporating these into decision making. Third, it examines the potential of different types of forest values to inform efforts to reverse forest loss. These comprise, for example, more differentiated property rights regimes, novel regulatory instruments, economic incentives, governance mechanisms, and agroforestry approaches. A special focus is on economic perspectives, but other methodological approaches that pursue recognition and integration of forest ecosystem services are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Economic drivers of deforestation
  • Value of forest ecosystem services and biodiversity
  • The role of biodiversity for forest economic values
  • Forest contributions to people
  • Policy instruments
  • Regulation
  • Economic incentives
  • Payments for forest ecosystem services
  • REDD—reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation
  • Governance mechanisms
  • Forest management

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Achieving Robust and Socially Acceptable Environmental Policy Recommendations: Lessons from Combining the Choice Experiment Method and Institutional Analysis Focused on Cultural Ecosystem Services
Forests 2021, 12(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040484 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 628
Abstract
The reflection of ecosystem services in environmental policy has recently become a key aspect in solving environmental problems occurring as a consequence of their overburdening. However, decision makers often pay attention predominantly to results of quantitative (monetary valuation) methods. This article explores a [...] Read more.
The reflection of ecosystem services in environmental policy has recently become a key aspect in solving environmental problems occurring as a consequence of their overburdening. However, decision makers often pay attention predominantly to results of quantitative (monetary valuation) methods. This article explores a new way of combining quantitative and qualitative methods that has proven to be a useful practice for achieving better environmental governance. We combine the (quantitative) choice experiment method and (qualitative) institutional analysis as full and equal complements. In our approach, the goal of qualitative institutional analysis is not to verify the adequacy of willingness-to-pay results but rather to better address cultural and social perspectives of society representatives. Such an approach increases the robustness of policy recommendations and their acceptance in comparison with isolated applications of both methods. To verify this general premise, both methods were applied in the territory of the Eastern Ore Mountains in the Czech Republic to capture preferences and attitudes of local stakeholders as well as tourists towards small-scale ecosystems. The results confirm that preference calculations regarding aesthetic values of ecosystems need to be complemented with facts about institutional settings and barriers in order to better address locally relevant recommendations for decision makers, such as the introduction of new economic instruments (e.g., local taxes or entrance fees). The findings of this study can also be considered for governance of larger local, common-pool resources such as (public) forests or protected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Economics of Forest Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity)
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Article
Spatial Distribution of Forest Ecosystem Service Benefits in Germany: A Multiple Benefit-Transfer Model
Forests 2021, 12(2), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020169 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 950
Abstract
We investigate the economic benefits of fundamental forest ecosystem services (FES) for the population in Germany at national level in monetary terms and estimate the spatial distribution of these benefits at county level. Specifically, we consider the benefits of timber production, of global [...] Read more.
We investigate the economic benefits of fundamental forest ecosystem services (FES) for the population in Germany at national level in monetary terms and estimate the spatial distribution of these benefits at county level. Specifically, we consider the benefits of timber production, of global climate protection due to carbon sequestration, of recreation for local residents, and of services for nature protection and landscape amenity. Combining information from official statistics and data from valuation studies that are compatible with economic demand theory, we identify spatial drivers of FES benefits and derive generic valuation functions for each of the services. Using a Geographic Information System, these valuation functions are applied to the conditions in the Local Administrative Units (municipalities), resulting in Benefit Function Transfer estimates for each service and each municipality. Afterwards, results are aggregated to NUTS-3 level (counties) and mapped. Aggregate annual benefits of timber production to society as a whole, of climate protection and of recreation services together exceed the ten billion Euro mark—far more than what is reflected in market statistics. Scenarios illustrate the potential for enhancing nature protection benefits particularly by restoring forest biodiversity, as measured by an avifaunistic indicator. The spatial analysis reveals distinct distributional patterns for each of the services. We conclude that a spatially explicit valuation for an entire country is possible even with limited data, which can help policy makers improve the institutional setting in a way that the protection and use of the forests become more sustainable and efficient. After pointing at several caveats, we finally suggest various possibilities for further model development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Economics of Forest Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity)
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Article
Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Product Valorisation to the Livelihood Assets of Local People in the Northern Periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve, East Cameroon
Forests 2020, 11(9), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11091019 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 788
Abstract
A large community of scientists has demonstrated that millions of people located in tropical zones derive a significant proportion of their livelihoods from the extraction of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Despite these results, questions remain as to whether the valorisation of NTFPs can [...] Read more.
A large community of scientists has demonstrated that millions of people located in tropical zones derive a significant proportion of their livelihoods from the extraction of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Despite these results, questions remain as to whether the valorisation of NTFPs can sustainably contribute to the improvement of the livelihood assets of the extractors. This study therefore evaluated the contribution of NTFP valorisation to the livelihood assets of local people around the northern periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve (DFR), East Cameroon. To achieve this objective, data collected from 215 households in 32 villages were analyzed using factor analysis, Mann–Whitney U tests, and structural equation modelling. The results suggest that NTFP valorisation significantly contributes to the livelihood assets of local people at the periphery of the DFR. However, NTFP revenue was not significant in predicting their livelihood assets. Moreover, the local conservation management practices were not significant in predicting the livelihood assets in the long run. The results also revealed that individuals who received training and capacity building on good practices such as efficient collection techniques, effective drying techniques, and good conservation techniques earned better revenues and the impact on their livelihood was more significant than for those who did not. These results therefore recommend that the way forward for NTFP valorisation lies at the level of improving its quality and the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Economics of Forest Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity)
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