Restoration cost method
Suitability for the FES to be valued:
Provisioning services: non-wood forest products, water, raw materials
Regulating services: water regulation, water purification and waste treatment; soil formation
Cultural services: aesthetic values
Description of the method:
The method uses costs of restoring ecosystem goods or services. It is based on the idea that given an alternative land-use option the non-marketed benefits provided by an intact ecosystem or the particular goods and services provided by such an ecosystem can be measured by estimating what it would cost to re-create the original ecosystem (or environmental good or service). The assumption is that by restoring the original ecosystem the original level of benefits will be restored.
In the case of primary forests, this method would involve costing the restoration of the original forest cover. Clearly, this is not something that, even with active intervention in silviculture and forest management, could be concluded quickly if it could be accomplished at all. Such considerations suggest that the technique is unlikely to prove useful.
Benefits of the method:
Potentially useful in valuing particular environmental functions
Limitation of the method:
Diminishing returns and difficulty of restoring previous ecosystem conditions make application of this method questionable