Technical Report 4

Assessment of methodologies for valuing biological diversity of forests

Pere Riera
Internal Report 4
European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, 2001
14 p.

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Biological and landscape diversity of forests is a complex, mostly non-market good to value. Economics has developed several methods to estimate non-market values. Some are based on actual markets, like the Travel Cost Method, or the Hedonic Pricing Method. Others simulate a hypothetical market, such as the Contingent Valuation Method, Contingent Rating, Contingent Ranking, Contingent Choice, or Pairwise Choice. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, and can measure slightly different aspects, but overall they are all reliable methods. Nonetheless, the inherent complexity of forest biodiversity requires valuation methods to be applied according to the state-of-the-art. Most of the methods are costly to apply and time consuming. However, for most policy purposes, values can be ‘standardized’ and transferred to particular case studies, as is the common practice in other fields.

Keywords: forests, biodiversity, valuation, methodology