BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ACCORDING to a UNDP report, the rapid economic assessment of the Total Economic Value (TEV) of forest in Solomon Islands indicates that forests are highly valuable with an annual economic value of SBD 16.7 billion.
However, the “Valuation of Environmental Service from Forest Ecosystem” study report stressed that most of this is estimated economic value is not translated into revenue as they are intangible.
UNDP stated that what makes it difficult to translate the economic value of forests into revenue for forest owners is the existence of the problem of free riding.
Additionally, most of the economic activities such as agriculture, fishery, tourism and water supply are stated as not WTP (Willingness to Pay) for the forests ecosystem services.
The report points out that this is why it is important that financial mechanisms are established to ensure that a significant portion of the forests TEV are transferred to the landowners and forest managers.
“This will incentivize the forest owners and managers to undertake forest sustainable management (SFM),” said the report.
UNDP further expressed that there are various schemes and corresponding financial instruments that can be used to unlock the economic value of forests and transfer the revenue to forests managers as incentives.
As stated, these include REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme and carbon prices, payments for ecosystem services (PES), value chain addition for products such as nuts and medicine and improved marketing.