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Green Accounting in Europe

A Comparative Study, Volume 2

Edited by Anil Markandya and Marialuisa Tamborra

Using spatially desegregated data on measures of pollution to derive economic damage estimates, the main purpose of the book is to gauge the environmental damage sustained as a result of economic activities and to offer an insight into how the information generated can be used in conjunction with conventional economic accounts. The first few chapters review recent developments in both green accounting and pathway analysis. The book goes on to evaluate the progress made in estimating dose response functions and valuing environmental damages. The authors discuss the methodology used for the estimation of damages caused by ambient air pollution and the cost of defensive expenditures. They also present the results of the analysis and draw important policy conclusions for environmental accounting, particularly in the EU.
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Chapter 11: Forest and Ecosystem Damages

Ursula Triebswetter and Marialuisa Tamborra


Ursula Triebswetter and Marialuisa Tamborra 11.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter will first deal with forest valuation and then with ecosystem and biodiversity assessment. In this book there is an attempt to complete and update the literature mentioned by Markandya and Pavan (1999), with a special focus on both methodological and empirical findings related to biodiversity (Section 11.3). 11.2 11.2.1 FOREST DAMAGE Causes of Forest Damage Forest ecosystems are damaged by air pollution either directly or indirectly. The direct effect is caused by air pollution absorbed directly by leaves and the crown, whereas the indirect effect is caused by soil pollution. The literature usually identifies three categories of damage: ● ● ● loss of timber production, reduced value for recreational activities, and reduced existence value. There is a fourth category of damage, namely ecological damage, which is usually recorded as a loss in biodiversity. For forests this should not be considered simply as loss of component tree species but also includes changes in the herbaceous ground cover, having consequent changes in the occurrence and size of animal populations. Valuation of ecological damage is difficult to assess, in part because there is no simple accepted method of quantifying the loss. It is also difficult to ascribe changes in biodiversity to individual processes. Natural systems consist of assemblages of organisms that show complex interactions between each other 319 320 Results and with the environment. Processes such as increased levels of pollutants do not always cause immediate change and the ‘lag’ before an...

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