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Forests as Natural Capital: Parallels, Problems and Implications

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Bradley, Dennis P.; Xu, Zhi
Date: 1994
Agency: Social and Economics Dimensions of Ecosystem Management, Forest Service, USDA, North Central Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN
Series: RWU-4803
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4078
Sector: Forestry
Subject(s): forestry
Abstract: "Beginning with a brief discussion of capital as an integrating concept, we: (1) consider the nature of forest ecosystems with complex features that have been inadequately recognized in the past; (2) highlight some problems in the treatment of ecosystems by neoclassical and environmental economics, (3) review key economic concepts of capital that raise special difficulties when applied to ecosystems, (4) describe several other problems with treating ecosystems as capital that arise from their thermodynamic and emergent characteristics, (5) consider the bases of capital valuation, both those rooted in economics and in broader features of social relations; (6) highlight problems with ecosystem depreciation and its re-capitalization; and finally (7) outline the implications of the above for an accounting framework that may yield a more realistic picture of ecosystem integrity for economic and social purposes."

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