FOR200H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Sustainable Forest Management, Ecosystem Services, Natural Capital

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15 Aug 2016
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FOR200 Week 6
Changing Perceptions in Canadian Forest Conservation
Until very recently the focus on forest conservation/ sustainable forest management in Canada is
on two main goals:
- Maintaining the economic viability of forest ecosystems forestry sector
- Conservation/ preservation of traditional ecological considerations – alpha, beta, gamma
diversity
Current Trends in Forest Management
1. Ecosystem Services
- Present and future amenities associated with unspoiled natural environments, for which
the market fails to make adequate provision (things the ecosystem does that we benefit
from and the market doesn’t
- The processes of ecosystems that support (directly or indirectly) human well being
- Natural capital: the living material that covers the planet, gives rise to the flows of
ecosystems services
- Analogy between money/capital in a financial account (natural capital) and living off the
interest accrued (ecosystem services)
- Degradation of natural capital leads to decline of ecosystem services flow
Classifying Ecosystem Services
Supporting: those that all essential to the other categories – nutrient cycling, soil
formation, primary production, ecosystem functions (plant growth)
Provisioning: the provisions that humans can consume - crops, livestock, timber, cotton,
silk, biochemicals, natural medicines, pharmaceuticals, fresh water
Regulating: Regulate the different processes that are important for humans - air quality,
climate, water, disease, pest, natural hazard and erosion regulation, water purification and
treatment, pollination
Cultural: the services that they naturally have – aesthetic values, spiritual and religious
values, recreation and ecotourism
- Ecosystem services not fully captured in markets. Not adequately quantified in terms
comparable with economic services and manufactured capital
- Difficulties incorporating several ecosystem services into economic frameworks due to
oTime lags between conservation activities and ecosystem services
oEcosystem services are distributed over large distances
oEco system services may be experienced directly/ indirectly
oPublic perceptions/ willingness to pay
- Until 10-15 years ago, ecosystem services were given little weight in policy
decisions
- Payment for ecosystem services has emerged as a major direction in forest
conservation
Payment for Ecosystem Services
Estimating value of ecosystem services by:
1. Quantify amount of service provided (ex: amount of freshwater filtered, amount of
shoreline, stabilized, amount of carbon sequestered by trees)
2. Calculate cost of performing these services using existing human technology/ man
power
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