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Economic evaluation of financial and non-financial costs and benefits in agroforestry development and the value of sustainability

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Financial appraisal of agroforestry is not different in kind from appraisals applied to pure forestry. Existing techniques for valuing non-market effects may also be applied. Effects on hydrological and carbon fluxes might be less favourable than those of pure forests. In the confusing field of biodiversity valuation too, only limited and specific claims can be made for agroforestry. Amenity valuation techniques developed for trees and woodlands encounter additional problems of interpretation in an agroforestry context. Agroforestry may offer a quantifiable value in short-term sustainability, and might meet recent economic definitions of long-term sustainable development, without encountering the full dangers to future generations embodied in conversion of natural to human capital.

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Price, C. Economic evaluation of financial and non-financial costs and benefits in agroforestry development and the value of sustainability. Agroforest Syst 30, 75–86 (1995).

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Key words

  • cost-benefit analysis
  • environmental values
  • futures
  • non-market effects