Special Issue "Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mario Soliño
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economic Analysis, Complutense University of Madrid, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain
Interests: environmental valuation; stated preferences; ecosystem services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forests provide multiple nonmarketed goods and services, and several economic valuation methods have emerged to analyze them since the middle of the 20th century. A wide range of environmental valuation methods is available. Some of them are based on revealed preferences—for example, the travel cost and the hedonic pricing method. Others are based on stated preferences—for example, the contingent valuation and the choice experiments. Based on these methods, many applications analyzed the economic relevance of several nonwood forest products (NWFPs) such as recreation, biodiversity, carbon sinks, etc. Environmental valuation is currently a well stablished research area in the field of environmental economics. We are now facing novel global change scenarios, which are likely to influence the total economic value of forests and need to be better understood. This Special Issue focuses on the "Economic Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests". It promotes knowledge for the future management of forest ecosystems, dealing with topics such as resilience, adaptation, biodiversity, recreation, conservation, biotic and abiotic risks, cultural values, etc. We cordially invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. We are mainly looking for environmental valuation applications, although methodological papers are also welcome.

Dr. Mario Soliño
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

  • Choice experiment
  • Contingent valuation
  • Stated preferences
  • Revealed preferences
  • Ecosystem services
  • Forest economics
  • Green accounting
  • Forest management

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Uncovering the Hidden Numbers of Nature in the Standard Accounts of Society: Application to a Case Study of Oak Woodland dehesa and Conifer Forest Farms in Andalusia-Spain
Forests 2021, 12(5), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050638 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
The standard System of National Accounts (SNA) does not estimate the margins of the products without market prices consumed because it assumes that the cost prices of the final products consumed correspond to the consumer marginal willingness to pay (MWTP). Valuations of products [...] Read more.
The standard System of National Accounts (SNA) does not estimate the margins of the products without market prices consumed because it assumes that the cost prices of the final products consumed correspond to the consumer marginal willingness to pay (MWTP). Valuations of products consumed without market prices at their cost prices may not coincide with their simulated exchange values (SEV) that would be paid by consumers. This inconsistent SNA valuation can be avoided by simulating stated or revealed market prices based on consumers’ demands. Our Agroforestry Accounting System (AAS) methodology estimates the margins of the individual products without market prices based on the consumer MWTP. The SEV of private owners and public consumers MWTP for these non-market products are estimated in this study by applying stated and revealed preference valuation methods. The objectives of this study are to compare the environmental incomes, ecosystem services and profitability rates obtained by applying the AAS and the refined SNA (rSNA) methodologies to the case-study oak woodland dehesa and conifer forest farms in Andalusia, Spain. The 41 farms comprise 26 large oak woodland dehesa farms in which trees of the Quercus genus predominate, and 15 conifer forest farms where Pinus species predominate. In the studied farms, 20 individual activities have been identified which 19 are common to both the AAS and rSNA approaches, along with the additional activity of carbon which is registered in the AAS. Ownership rights of 13 private activities correspond to the farmer and 7 public activities to the government. In 2010, the case-study results show that livestock and game species consume grazed fodder which represents 50% and 95%, respectively, of their total forage units consumed in the period 2010. Livestock farming accounts for 31% of the labour compensation in the private oak woodland dehesa farms and 1% in the public conifer forest farms for the farm activities as a whole. The ecosystem services measured by the AAS in the privately-owned oak woodland dehesa and publicly-owned conifer forest farms are 2.7 and 4.6 times greater, respectively, than those estimated by the rSNA. The environmental incomes measured by the AAS for the privately-owned oak woodland dehesa and publicly-owned conifer forest farms account for 61% and 53%, respectively, of their total incomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Article
Spatial and Temporal Wildfire Decomposition as a Tool for Assessment and Planning of an Efficient Forest Policy in Galicia (Spain)
Forests 2020, 11(8), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080811 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Wildfires in Galicia have various temporal and spatial trends. This temporal and spatial behavior must therefore be studied and taken into account in order to design more efficient forest policies. Since both factors are inhomogeneous, it was proposed to study them using a [...] Read more.
Wildfires in Galicia have various temporal and spatial trends. This temporal and spatial behavior must therefore be studied and taken into account in order to design more efficient forest policies. Since both factors are inhomogeneous, it was proposed to study them using a Gini index decomposition. The number of fires and the affected forest area were studied in terms of the months and the forest districts, which serve as basic temporal and spatial elements. The objective of this methodology is to know the months in which the fires are most concentrated throughout the administrative geographical districts of the various provinces of Galicia, and the elasticity of each month with respect to the global concentration. It is also used to know the temporal inequality in each forest district of Galicia and its contribution to the global index. To apply this methodology, monthly data are taken from 2006 to 2015 for each of the Galician forest districts. It is found that there is a high spatial concentration of fires in the autumn and winter months, and a much lower one in the remaining months. On the other hand, most districts register a great temporal inequality in the occurrence of fires. Tentative suggestions of how the forest policy in Galicia could be improved by taking into account both these spatial and temporal patterns are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Article
Farmers’ Preferences for Conservation and Breeding Programs of Forestry Food Resources in Niger
Forests 2020, 11(6), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060697 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 767
Abstract
In a less-favored area such as the Sahel, promoting sustainable management, breeding, and conservation of forestry resources would result in improvements for agroforestry systems and food security. A contingent ranking exercise allowed us to estimate the preferences and the values given by the [...] Read more.
In a less-favored area such as the Sahel, promoting sustainable management, breeding, and conservation of forestry resources would result in improvements for agroforestry systems and food security. A contingent ranking exercise allowed us to estimate the preferences and the values given by the rural population to the attributes that would be comprised in a conservation program. The resulting preferred program is farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) based on the species Adansonia digitata (baobab), with plantation, stone bunds, or tassa, and selected or bred seeds. The proposed actions to improve the tree density and the seed quality were highly valued by the respondents. Nevertheless, no clear differences were found between tassa and stone bunds, or FMNR and plantation. The main effects of the program, according to the surveyed population, include an increase in crop production and soil conservation, and higher income from tree products. This study allowed us to identify the program that would provide the greatest well-being for farmers, since it would allow them to simultaneously improve both the production of their crops and the production of the woody food species. It was shown that farmers were particularly willing to contribute to a program based on baobab, mainly because its products are used for food in the home and can be sold in markets. In this sense, the yield and production of the system would be improved by increasing the number of baobab trees. Farmers would contribute to this production system and would be willing to invest sustainable effort in the long term. The conservation and breeding program can be directed at conserving and propagating the genetic resources of A. digitata in an initial phase, selecting trees with good production, growth, and adaptation characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Article
Refined Systems of National Accounts and Experimental Ecosystem Accounting Versus the Simplified Agroforestry Accounting System: Testing in Andalusian Holm Oak Open Woodlands
Forests 2020, 11(4), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040393 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 810
Abstract
The scientific debate over how to make visible the connections between the standard System of National Accounts (SNA) and its ongoing satellite Environmental Economic Ecosystem Accounting–Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA–EEA) is a challenge that is still pending. The literature on environmental accounting of agroforestry [...] Read more.
The scientific debate over how to make visible the connections between the standard System of National Accounts (SNA) and its ongoing satellite Environmental Economic Ecosystem Accounting–Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA–EEA) is a challenge that is still pending. The literature on environmental accounting of agroforestry and silvopastoral landscapes rarely values the multiple ecosystem services of an area, an economic unit (e.g., farm), or a vegetation type (e.g., holm oak—Quercus ilex L.—open woodland). Generally, the literature presents the market value of the products consumed directly or a correction of the latter that reduces their exchange values in order to approximate them to their resource rents. In our previous publications, we have applied and compared our Agroforestry Accounting System (AAS) with the System of National Accounts (SNA), and we refined the latter to avoid the lag between income generation and its accounting in the period in which the product is extracted. These previous publications did not develop experimental applications of the SEEA–EEA with comparisons to the SNA and it being integrated into the AAS. The main novelty of this article is that, for the first time, we present detailed applications and comparisons of our developments of the refined SEEA–EEA and refined SNA with a simplified version of the AAS. The accounting frameworks applied take the production and capital accounts in the process of being updated by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) at the scale of the holm oak open woodlands of Andalusia into account. In this study, we compare three environmental accounting approaches for ecosystem services and environmental income measurements at basic and social prices: our slightly refined standard System of National Accounts (rSNA); our refined, updated and ongoing satellite System of Environmental Economic Accounting–Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (rSEEA–EEA); and our simplified Agroforestry Accounting System (sAAS). We tested them for 15 economic activities in 1408 thousand hectares of the predominantly mixed holm oak open woodland (HOW) land use tiles in the region of Andalusia, Spain. We considered the government institutional sector to be the collective owner of public economic activities, which we incorporated in the rSNA and the sAAS approaches. We discuss consistencies in environmental incomes identified from the results of the three ecosystem accounting frameworks applied to the HOW. The discrepancies in the measurement of ecosystem services of the government institutional sector between the rSEEA–EEA and the sAAS were due to the omission in the former of the government manufactured costs incurred in the supply of freely consumed public final products. The most notable finding of our comparison is that the ecosystem services and the environmental income results for individual market products offered the same values, whichever the ecosystem accounting framework applied. This was not the case with the ecosystem services of public products without market prices, due to the fact that the rSNA estimates these products at production cost and the rSEEA–EEA did not consider the government manufactured production costs and ordinary manufactured net operating margin of government final public product consumption. We also found that, according to modeling of the scheduled management of future biological resources of the HOW, the environmental income shows biological sustainability of the individual nature-based total product consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Article
Income and Ecosystem Service Comparisons of Refined National and Agroforestry Accounting Frameworks: Application to Holm Oak Open Woodlands in Andalusia, Spain
Forests 2020, 11(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020185 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 920
Abstract
There is growing consensus regarding the implementation of a new statistical framework for environmental-economic accounting to improve ecosystem related policies. As the standard System of National Accounts (SNA) fails to measure the economic contribution of ecosystems to the total income of individuals, governments [...] Read more.
There is growing consensus regarding the implementation of a new statistical framework for environmental-economic accounting to improve ecosystem related policies. As the standard System of National Accounts (SNA) fails to measure the economic contribution of ecosystems to the total income of individuals, governments recognize the need to expand the standard SNA through the ongoing System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA). Based on the authors’ own data, this study focuses on linking 15 economic activities and 12 ecosystem services for a holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) open woodlands (HOW) ecosystem type in Andalusia, Spain. We emphasize that overcoming the challenges of multiple use is preferable to measuring single ecosystem products for improving habitat conservation policies. The objectives of this paper are to measure and compare the environmental assets, ecosystem services, and incomes at basic and social prices by applying a refined version of the standard System of National Accounts (rSNA) and the authors’ Agroforestry Accounting System (AAS), respectively, to HOW. Considering intermediate products and consumptions of HOW farmer and government activities, we find that the rSNA ecosystem services and environmental incomes at basic prices are 123.3 €/ha and −28.0 €/ha, respectively, while those of the AAS at social prices are 442.2 €/ha and 250.8 €/ha. Given advances in non-market valuation techniques, we show that an expanded definition of economic activities can be applied to measure the contribution to total income of managed natural areas taking into account the multiple uses of the ecosystem type. However, HOW sustainability continues to be a challenging issue that requires ecological threshold indicators to be identified, not only because of the economic implications but also because they provide vital information on which to base policy implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Article
Economic Valuation of Conservation of Inholdings in Protected Areas for the Institution of Payments for Ecosystem Services
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121122 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 871
Abstract
Ecosystem services, as public goods, are often undersupplied because private markets do not fully take into account the social cost of production. To alleviate the concern about this imbalance situation, payments for ecosystem services (PES) have emerged as a preferable alternative. While temples [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services, as public goods, are often undersupplied because private markets do not fully take into account the social cost of production. To alleviate the concern about this imbalance situation, payments for ecosystem services (PES) have emerged as a preferable alternative. While temples in Korea have owned a considerable part of the national parks, a PES approach can be used as a viable option to alleviate the conflicts among visitors, non-visitors, and temples. The purpose of this paper is to assess the economic values of ecosystem services provided by temple forests as a compensation mechanism. Using a contingent valuation method, an online survey was conducted with 1000 respondents. Study results showed that the economic benefits of the conservation of temple forests were estimated to be substantial, ranging from ₩5980 (US $5.42) to ₩7709 ($7.08) per household per year. The results also confirmed the effects of social factors such as individuals’ trust in the government’s environmental policies and importance on the conservation of temples’ cultural and religious values on the willingness to pay. With a growing interest in securing ecosystem services through a PES approach, estimating economic benefits of the conservation of inholdings in public protected areas will be a valuable piece of information as an important policy decision-making tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
Article
Estimating the Sustainability of Managed Natural Forests in Costa Rica—A Hybrid Delphi & Choice Experiment Approach
Forests 2019, 10(10), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100832 - 21 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 938
Abstract
Management of natural forests in Costa Rica allows timber extraction in so far as it is guaranteed that the logging activities comply with diverse Sustainability Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PCIs). These are hierarchical and complex systems used, ex-ante in the formulation and approval [...] Read more.
Management of natural forests in Costa Rica allows timber extraction in so far as it is guaranteed that the logging activities comply with diverse Sustainability Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PCIs). These are hierarchical and complex systems used, ex-ante in the formulation and approval of the Management Plan but have not been used for ex-post evaluation of managed forests. Development of sustainability evaluation systems that include few criteria is highly recommended. In that sense, the choice experiments contribute to simplification of the initial system of decision making, complementing a complex system of PCIs that permits detailed analysis of the management units. In this study, a choice experiment was included in a Delphi application and 5 key variables were identified to evaluate the sustainability of managed natural forests. These variables are, in order of importance—technical, legal and administrative conditions; external financing conditions; production performance; costs of preparing the Management Plan; and payment mechanisms for environmental services. The definition of these variables confirms not only that the technical, legal and administrative conditions are critical for sustainability but also that they could reflect the type of governance involved in sustainability forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Review

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Review
China’s Key Forestry Ecological Development Programs: Implementation, Environmental Impact and Challenges
Forests 2021, 12(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010101 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Forest ecosystems are in serious trouble globally, largely due to the over-exploitation. To alleviate environmental problems caused by deforestation, China has undertaken a series of key forestry ecological development programs, including the Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP), the Conversion of Cropland into Forests [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystems are in serious trouble globally, largely due to the over-exploitation. To alleviate environmental problems caused by deforestation, China has undertaken a series of key forestry ecological development programs, including the Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP), the Conversion of Cropland into Forests Program (CCFP), the Desertification Combating Program around Beijing and Tianjing (DCBT), the Key Shelterbelt Development Programs in the Three-North Region and in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River (KSDP) and the Nature Reserve Development Program in Forestry Sector (WCNR). This article aims to make a documentation of the specific contents (duration, major aims, geographic coverage and investment), and environmental impacts of these programs from peer-reviewed literature, official reports and journals. Environmental impact is measured with land area afforested (except the WCNR) and the consequent changes in ecosystem function. Overall, with the huge investment and long-term efforts, these programs have made tremendous progress in increasing vegetative coverage, enhancing carbon sequestration, controlling soil erosion, conservation of biodiversity, etc. For proper implementation and remarkable achievement, a more balanced approach with flexible planning, suitable measures and proper management should be adopted. Meanwhile, the scientific communities need to be more actively involved in execution and assessment of these programs. The environmental impact of the DCBT, the KSDP, and the WCNR deserve more research concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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