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Valuation of Forest Ecosystem Services

Human beings receive multiple/countless benefits from forests in the form of goods and services such as food, wood, clean water, energy, protection from floods and soil erosion, regulation of climate cycles, recreation and cultural values. These services make significant direct and indirect contributions to national economies and human welfare.


The value of forest ecosystem services has not yet being fully understood by society andmarket-based economies. This lack of understanding endangers the sustainability and balance of global economies leading to wrong policy actions and ill-advised strategic social choices. It is therefore necessary to improve the decision-making process in national accounting, regulation and fiscal policy,public and private procurement and government spending,to preserve the value of our natural capital.


Improved knowledge of how forests ecosystems work, and the full value of forests services  will allow European decision makers to make more relevant choices about how forests resources should be used, managed or allocated, in order to foster sustainable development and better conservation of forests ecosystems and biodiversity.


Part of FOREST EUROPE strategy, as specified in the European Forests 2020 decision, is to achieve by 2020 that “the full value of forest ecosystem services across Europe will be estimated with a view to using common valuation approaches, and that values are increasingly reflected in relevant national policies and market-based instruments such as payments for ecosystem services.


To achieve this FOREST EUROPE decides to prioritize the joint European action in paragraph 24 d: 


"Valuation of forest ecosystem services


Stressing the importance of the full range of forest goods and services, FOREST EUROPE will develop a common approach to valuation of forest ecosystem services and promote its use, with the aim of raising awareness of the contributions to societies of multiple forest functions, to serve informed decision making and to assess achievements against the 2020 targets."



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