Methodological Issues and Case Studies
Edited by K. N. Ninan
Chapter 10: Conserving forest wildlife and other ecosystem services: opportunity costs and the valuation of alternative logging regimes
Comparatively little attention has been given in the literature to the economics of selective (reduced impact) logging as a means to conserve forest-dependent wildlife species and maintain other ecological services. However, the subject of the spatial optimization of the use of ecosystems has received much attention by ecologists. Although, Hof and Bevers (1998; 2002), for example, analyse in detail the ecological and environmental consequences of the spatial use of forest ecosystems and the effects of logging regimes on their ecological services, economic considerations are not central to their expositions. Their aim is to examine ‘the use of optimisation in the management of an ecosystem with the objective of directly capturing spatial ecosystem relationships and processes’ (Hof and Bevers, 1998, p. 1). Because the problems posed by these authors are complex, they cannot always be solved by mathematical optimization methods but must rely on simulation approaches and approximations for solutions. Often linear approximations are needed to solve these problems and linear programming is a useful tool for obtaining solutions (see, for example, Hof and Bevers, 2002, Ch. 5). The model presented in this chapter for considering the spatial use of a forest is simple and also involves linearity but it is able to identify circumstances in which multiple use of a part of the forest is optimal and others in which the forest should be partitioned into dominant uses.
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