From failure to value: economic valuation for a selected set of products and services from Mediterranean forests
Aim of study: the paper estimates the economic value of a selected range of forest products and services, i.e. roundwood, non-wood forest products (NWFPs), and carbon-related services.
Area of study: the research covers 21 Mediterranean countries, distinguished into four sub-regions.
Material and methods: data have been gathered from official statistical sources (e.g. FAOSTAT), scientific literature and technical reports. Different estimation approaches based on market-price have been used for different products/services.
Main results: the estimated value ranges between €10,512 and €11,158 million (M). Wood products represent more than 85% of the total value. Within them, industrial timber is the most relevant component (65%). Figures for NWFPs are likely to be underestimated because data are available only for some products and countries. When using alternative estimates for pine nuts, pine resin and cork, figures show a €36.8-572 M increase. In geographical terms, the economic value of Mediterranean forests is highly concentrated: North-West Mediterranean countries account for 70%, and nearly 90% is in just four countries (France, Spain, Turkey and Italy).
Research highlights: enhancing the offer of Mediterranean forest products and increasing their role in the rural economy could help to reduce the costs of forest protection: a well-structured forest economy ensuring stable flows of incomes can provide a fundamental set of public non-market services and social values to both local people and the whole community. Understanding the true value of natural resources, then, is an essential step for promoting their protection and sustainable use.
Abbreviations: Bln: billion; CUM: cubic meter; EM: East Mediterranean; FAO: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations; FRA: Forest Resource Assessment; ha: hectare; M: million; NEM: North-East Mediterranean; NWFP: non-wood forest product; NWM: North-West Mediterranean; SM: South Mediterranean.
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