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Economic evaluation of different implementation variants and categories of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 using forestry in Germany as a case study

The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 (EUBDS) aims to preserve and restore biodiversity by protecting large areas in the EU. An extensive part of these protected areas will presumably be covered by forests. This study analyses the economic effects of EUBDS implementation on German forestry in two scenarios, based on different possible interpretations of the EUBDS’ key commitments, using a forest economic simulation model. A special focus is placed on the opportunity costs of coarse wood debris (CWD). Over a simulated 200-year period, a decrease in timber harvest of 13% and 44% is estimated under the respective scenario assumptions. This leads to a reduction in the silvicultural contribution margin (SCM) of on average 0.25 B EUR a−1 (14%) and 0.79 B EUR a−1 (45%). In terms of the total SCM, protected forests contribute 35% and 15% in the two scenarios. The accumulation and preservation of CWD incurs a substantial loss of utility, as 15% and 19% of annual logging is required for conservation purposes. However, the EUBDS may also provide economically tangible benefits. A rational decision would be to implement a scenario if the “net benefit” from the protected status exceeds the losses from set-aside and conservation requirements.



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