Forest ecosystem services (FES) are those services deriving from forest ecosystems. Watch the video “One Single Tree" to get an impression on how we benefit from trees (Winter and Schnabel, CIFOR 2015).
- How can Ecosystem Services be classified?
There is a variety of different approaches to classify ecosystem services. Internationally three main classification systems are applied: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA 2005), Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB 2010) and Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES 2013). Please have a look at the below table for a comparison three classification schemes for the sub-selection of forest ecosystem services. For a more detailed comparison of the international classification systems have a look at the Forest Europe Report on Valuation of Forest Ecosystem Services (2014).
Nature provides different services, the ecosystem services, which are at the base of many products, services and social well-being. Nature protection and sustainable use of resources are instrumental in keeping natural capital available for future generations. The terms natural capital and ecosystem services are characterized by the benefit for humans, in contrast to the intrinsic value of nature. The intrinsic value of nature is the value of organisms and services in themselves, independent from their usefulness to humanity.
The ways that forests benefit society are numerous and diverse, and new benefits continue to be identified. While a total valuation of these benefits is a virtual impossibility, providing concrete values where we can will help us make better management decisions.
Economic valuation of ecosystem goods and services cover both non-monetary and monetary sources of value. The values associated with ecosystem services can be categorized into use values and non-use values, for further information on the topic click here.
To establish a PES scheme, the ecosystem services have to be valued. This can be a very critical and difficult task as the services of ecosystems are often not easy to assess and many of them can be seen as invaluable. Nevertheless, effort should be made to agree on values to establish PES schemes with multi benefits for people and nature.
For an overview table with examples of PES schemes in the UNECE region click here.
- Document Forest Ecosystem Services, Markets and Investments
- Document Forest ecosystem services -ECE/TIM/2015/6 - FO:EFC/15/6
- Publication The Value of Forests: Payments for Ecosystem Services in a Green Economy (2014)
- Publication Rovaniemi Action Plan: For the Forest Sector in a Green Economy (2014)
List of related meetings and workshops
Forestry and Timber