The provision of forest ecosystem services: A dual cost approach

PI : Serge Garcia (UMR 0356 Laboratoire d’Economie Forestière – LEF)

Co-applicants :
Jens Abildtrup (UMR 0356 Laboratoire d’Economie Forestière – LEF)
Claudio Petucco (UMR 0356 Laboratoire d’Economie Forestière – LEF)


Context — Forests provide ecosystem services (ES) for the benefit of society. Beside timber production, most of ES are non-marketed goods and services but with high values for the society. These ES (e.g., biodiversity, carbon sequestration, protection of water bodies) have become increasingly important in recent forest economics literature as a result of their multifaceted relevance for the society coupled with their global support for climate change protection. Most ES are thus public or common goods, so that their social benefits are under-estimated. This specificity and the existence of markets for timber often involve the under-provision of ES and the overexploitation of ecosystems.

Objectives — In this project, we are focusing on the non-marketed goods and services associated with forestlands and, in particular, addressing the relationship between costs of forest management and the level of non-marketed goods and services provision.

Approaches — In a first study, our objective is to quantity the cost of forest ES. We seek to estimate the marginal cost of ES provision and to identify the drivers of cost efficiency in provisioning of services. Data is obtained through a field survey of private forest household owners in Vietnam. The survey data on costs are combined with forest ES indicators and the production structure is analysed using a stochastic cost frontier approach.

In a second study, our purpose is to study the interaction between biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and forest management costs in a European context. Non-industrial private forest landowners implement management actions in order to enhance the provision of such services. The objective is to focus on the decision of setting aside forest land to enhance biodiversity conservation. We propose an econometric analysis from an online survey of Danish forest owners.

Expected results and impacts — Better knowledge in provision costs of ES is useful to assess potential complementarity or competitivity relationship between different services. We also expect some insights about how improving efficiency of forest management for timber harvesting and ES provision and about observed practices of specialized forest management vs. multifunctional forest management.