The Economics of Non-timber Forest Benefits: An Overview

Problems arise when policy-makers try to balance the twin objectives of timber production and environmental protection. When values conflict, what is the appropriate trade-off? What opportunities exist for "win-win" solutions, where timber and non-timber benefits are complementary? This paper focuses on recent advances in the economic evaluation of forestry activities and, in particular, on how techniques for valuing non-timber forest benefits in monetary terms can assist the development of forest policy and management systems. The paper considers the nature of non-market values and the need for valuation, as well as the different techniques used. It briefly considers the long-term dynamics of forest value and outlines the use of valuation results in forest policy and management.