Valuing Forests and Rangelands-Ecosystem Services



This study is the first effort by Iranian scientists to provide insight to the many benefits and services that forest and rangelands offers to society, and the extent to which the human race is vitally dependent on them. Without a firm understanding of the value of these systems we are unlikely to make many of the hard choices and compromises needed to protect them. In this study the least marginal monetary value of eleven forests and rangelands ecosystem services including gas regulation, plants genetic reverse diversity, pollination, soil formation, biological control, flood control, hydrological current control, water erosion control, wind erosion control, and ecotourism in fivefold vegetative regions of Khazar, Arasbaran, Zagros, Iran-toran and Khalij-e Omani (Oman gulf) with surface area of about 162155626 acres have been estimated at 427528 billion rials annually (47.9 billion dollars/year). This amount equals approximately 43% of GDP and four times of Iran’s agricultural added value in 2003. Taking into account the 1.73% share of the market services value of forests and rangelands in GDP, the significance of nonmarket services value of these resources in comparison to market goods will stand out obviously.