Valuing the social and environmental contribution of woodlands and trees in England, Scotland and Wales. Second edition: to 2018
Binner, A; Smith, G; Faccioli, M; et al.Bateman, IJ; Day, B; Agarwala, M; Harwood, A
Date: 15 November 2018
University of Exeter
Woodlands and forests constitute arguably the most diverse environments on earth; diverse not only in terms of the plethora of characteristics and habitats they embrace, but also through the variety of benefits and values that they offer to people. While this diversity of benefits is now widely recognised, incorporating these values ...
Woodlands and forests constitute arguably the most diverse environments on earth; diverse not only in terms of the plethora of characteristics and habitats they embrace, but also through the variety of benefits and values that they offer to people. While this diversity of benefits is now widely recognised, incorporating these values into decisions regarding the management and extension of woodland remains a challenge. While the value of some forest products, such as timber, is readily reflected within market prices, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most of the benefits provided by woodlands are not traded through markets and are therefore unpriced public goods. The UK Forestry Commission have for many years directly addressed the problem of incorporating the non-market benefits of woodland within conventional economic decision making through the application of techniques to estimate the economic value of these benefits (e.g. Willis, et al., 2003). As part of this initiative, in 2015 the Forestry Commission began working with the authors of the present report to provide a review of the research, policy and grey literature concerned with the economic valuation of the social and environmental benefits of woodlands and trees. This review, subsequently published as Binner et al., (2017) also included the development of a spreadsheet based decision support tool to facilitate the use of valuation estimates within decision making. The present report provides a second edition of that report, updating both the literature review and the accompanying spreadsheet decision support tool. In preparing this study, the research team at the University of Exeter undertook a structured reviewed of how technical and methodological developments are transforming the potential for robust valuation of non-market benefits and allied decision-making. The methods, data and modelling techniques, which underpin the existing evidence base on the value of woodlands and trees were critically evaluated, so as to provide a practical set of actionable options for enhancing that evidence base and improving decision making.
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