Assessing the economic value of a rainforest

WWF Malaysia sees that the jungle’s surface area in the heart of Borneo is decreasing, resulting in a decrease in the production of ecosystem services and facilities. WWF Malaysia believes that this negative trend cannot only be stopped by creating awareness among plantation owners and local residents, but that it also requires a change in land use. Witteveen+Bos carried out a social cost benefit analysis (SCBA) for this purpose. 

The ‘Building with Nature’ principle requires engineers to gain insight into the natural processes occurring in a project environment. Negative effects on these processes can then be avoided in the design phase, while such processes can also be used to yield additional benefits. In order to identify natural values and benefits, Witteveen+Bos is conducting an assessment of the value of the ecosystem services provided by the rainforest of Borneo for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

This huge rainforest is of great value for millions of people on account of the many goods and services that it supplies. However, deforestation is putting pressure on ecosystem services such as providing a habitat for orang-utans and serving as a local drinking water supply. This study will raise awareness of the value of ecosystem services provided by the rainforest, and will establish a basis for more sustainable land use.

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