Economic assessment of forest ecosystem services losses: cost of policy inaction

Aline Chiabai, Chiara M Travisi, Anil Markandya, Helen Ding, Paulo A L D Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (SciVal)


This paper presents a bottom-up methodological framework for estimating some of the key ecosystem services provided by forests biomes worldwide. We consider the provision of wood and non-wood forest products, recreation and passive use services, and carbon sequestration. The valuation framework derives per hectare estimates by applying meta-analysis, value-transfer and scaling-up procedures in order to control for the existing heterogeneities across world regions and forest biomes. The first part of the study estimates stock values per hectare for each forest ecosystem service in the baseline year 2000 and in the year 2050. Results differ per geographical region and biome. Carbon stocks represent, on average, the highest value per hectare, followed by provisioning services, passive use and recreational values respectively. The second part provides an estimation of the welfare loss (or gain) associated with policy inaction in the period 2000-2050 leading to a change in the forest area. Welfare results are mixed and require a careful interpretation, ranging from a worldwide annual benefit of +0.03% of 2050 GDP to an annual loss of -0.13%. The highest damage is expected in Brazil due to the increasing deforestation taking place in tropical natural forests, which is causing a considerable loss of carbon stocks. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-445
Number of pages41
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • meta-analysis
  • market values
  • wood forest products
  • forest ecosystem services
  • millennium ecosystem assessment
  • carbon
  • value-transfer
  • non-wood forest products
  • cultural services
  • non-market values


Dive into the research topics of 'Economic assessment of forest ecosystem services losses: cost of policy inaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this