Valuation of forest ecosystem services

Valuation of forest ecosystem services in Zambia
UNEP, through WCS New York

The aim of this study was to undertake a rapid assessment of the value and role of forests in the Zambian economy, based on available information, in order to inform policy decisions on forest management and the implementation of REDD+ activities in the country. Using available data in the literature, spatial data and GIS-based modelling, the study assessed the values of forests in the form of wood production (for timber, fuel wood, charcoal) and other nonwood forest products (NWFPs) such as wild foods and medicines, their tourism value and their supply of ecosystem services such as the regulation of climate through carbon storage and carbon sequestration, the retention of sediment for erosion control, the regulation of water flow and water quality, and support for agricultural production through pest control and pollination. The study assessed the critical role that forest ecosystems play in sustaining and supporting the stocks and flow of ecosystem services to various economic sectors and human well-being in Zambia, as well as addressing potential opportunities that forests offer with respect to transitioning to a green economy, particularly the role of REDD+ in achieving this transformation.