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Can You Put a Price on Forest Conservation?

TD Bank Group and the Nature Conservancy of Canada have released a new report that assigns an economic value to the ecological goods and services provided by forests to Canadians.

The report employed new economic tools to assign an annual dollar value to the natural benefits of forests. On average, the minimum value of services provided by forests in Canada across eight different forest regions is approximately $26,000 per hectare, per year.

The report’s figures are based on a forest’s ability to:

  • Absorb and store atmospheric carbon dioxide;
  • Clean drinking water;
  • Filter the air we breathe, and;
  • Retain water, thereby preventing floods.

Beyond ecological services, forests offer a range of additional benefits, including opportunities for recreation and the conservation of biodiversity. While assigning a value to the natural capital of forests is difficult, doing so will help governments, communities and businesses make better decisions about land use, conservation, climate change and sustainable development.

The infographic above provides a summary of the key findings of the report.

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