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Environmental Valuation in Developed Countries

Case Studies

Edited by David Pearce

This is the second of two volumes of case studies that illustrate how environmental economists place values on environmental assets and on the flows of goods and services generated by those assets. This important book assembles studies that discuss broad areas of application of economic valuation – from amenity and pollution through to water and health risks, from forestry to green urban space. In this, his last book, the late David Pearce brought together leading European experts, contributors to some two dozen case studies exploring the frontiers of economic valuation of natural resources and environmental amenity in the developed world.
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Chapter 2: Cost–Benefit Analysis of Irish Forest Policy

J. Peter Clinch


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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