Economic valuation of ecosystem services from secondary tropical forests: trade-offs and implications for policy making

Forest Ecology and Management, 473(1)

Natural regeneration of secondary forests can be an important source of recovery of ecosystem services (ES) critical for humanity, especially for climate change mitigation and adaptation goals. However, natural regeneration entails synergies and trade-offs across ESs and across stakeholders. To evaluate these trade-offs, we assessed the economic value of four ESs along the course of a natural regeneration process of tropical dry forests of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and examined how this can inform the design of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes incentivizing forest restoration. We estimated the monetary value of two provisioning ESs –forest products and fodder for calves–, using contingent valuation and direct market valuation methods, and two regulating ESs –carbon stocks and carbon sinks– using the voluntary carbon market prices and the social cost of carbon. We assessed these ESs in four natural regeneration stages: pasture, young secondary forest (0 to 12 years of natural regeneration), intermediate secondary forest (between 12 and 25 years of natural regeneration), and old-growth forest (more than 25 years of natural regeneration or primary forests).

spatial analysis management