An environmental accounting approach to valuing the services of natural forests and woodlands in Swaziland

Economists and statisticians constructing the national income accounts usually overlook the many benefits derived by communities from natural forests and woodlands. This study attempted to impute a value for the ecosystem services of these resources in Swaziland employing an environmental accounting framework. The current measure of national income was found to underestimate GDP by 2% and under value national savings by 10% by not accounting for the flow and asset values of natural forests and woodlands. The study also revealed a very high dependence of the rural communities in Swaziland on natural forests and woodlands for their livelihoods as they derive more than 50% of the value of total household consumption expenditure from these resources. These results clearly indicate the significant contribution to and crucial role these resources play in the lives and wellbeing of the Swazi people and hence the importance of prudent management and utilisation of this resource sector.

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Journal Article
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Agrekon, Volume 44, Issue 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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