Forest ecosystem services in rural areas of Germany: Insights from the national TEEB study
In Germany, forests cover approximately one third of the total land area, thereby providing a high variety of ecosystem services (ES), such as timber production, carbon sequestration, recreation, and other cultural services related to biodiversity protection. A national TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) report published recently focused on ES and biodiversity in rural areas. By drawing on insights from this report, the objective of this paper is to delineate: (i) which ES forests provide especially in the rural areas of Germany, (ii) what is known about the economic values these ES have for forest enterprises and the society, and (iii) if and how the provision of these ES can be safeguarded and possibly expanded. It is shown that the German public is in general highly appreciative of forests. Nevertheless, many of the societally desirable forest ES are not being marketed at the moment.