Chapter 2: Cost–Benefit Analysis of Irish Forest Policy
1 J. Peter Clinch INTRODUCTION The literature on the non-market costs and beneﬁts of forestry varies in its quality. Pearce (1999) states that the results are a ‘mixture of legitimate and illegitimate valuation procedures’. A large number of studies of the total economic value of forestry have been undertaken in developing countries. According to Pearce, most of these have been concerned with the destruction of indigenous forests and the associated loss of non-timber beneﬁts rather than by any concern regarding the supply of timber. Thus, a large body of research has focused upon tropical forests and their provision of such external beneﬁts as bush meat, ﬁrewood, nuts and berries, and medicinal plants. Despite much of the work on forestry valuation being concerned with tropical forests, there is an extensive literature focused on woodland in developed countries. Summaries of this research can be found in Wibe (1995) and Prins et al. (1990) and a collection of papers on the non-market beneﬁts of forestry is contained in Roper and Park (1999). Most of the research has been carried out in North America although there is a considerable body of literature from the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom including, for the latter, the comprehensive study by Willis et al. (2003). In general, while there is a substantial literature on the economic value of forestry, much of the research is related to deforestation and the associated loss of non-timber beneﬁts. Temperate commercial afforestation brings with it quite different...
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