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Validation and enhancement of a spatial economic tool for assessing ecosystem services provided by planted forests

Richard Yao (), Duncan R. Harrison, Sandra Velarde and Luke E. Barry

Forest Policy and Economics, 2016, vol. 72, issue C, 122-131

Abstract: Planted forests provide multiple benefits to society such as timber, carbon sequestration and avoided sedimentation, which are collectively called ecosystem services. Assessing the economic viability of timber production and the value of other ecosystem services of planted forests has become increasingly important for policy and investment decisions. A spatial economic tool called the Forest Investment Framework (FIF) has been developed to enable the assessment of key ecosystem services provided by planted forests in New Zealand. The FIF has a timber viability component that has been used to assess where in New Zealand new forest establishment is viable. The framework can also estimate indicative values of carbon sequestration credits and avoided sedimentation of waterways. In this paper, FIF's timber viability component is validated using data from seven case-study forests in New Zealand. Results of the validation exercise suggest that FIF is a very good viability assessment tool because it provides very accurate estimates of costs and revenues that case-study forests actually generated. The paper also discusses the new ecosystem services that have been identified for incorporation into this framework: water quality, water yield, recreation and biodiversity conservation.

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Planted forests; Spatial economic framework; Policy; Decision-support tool; New Zealand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2016.06.023

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