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Improved measure of the contribution of cultivated forests to national income and wealth in South Africa

  • Agricultural Science
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


An environmental accounting approach is adopted to adjust current measures of national income and net savings in SA for the value of net accumulation in timber and carbon stocks as well as for the value of water abstraction externality of cultivated forests. Results indicated that the said values missing from current measures of income and capital formation are substantial, amounting to about 0.6 per cent of NNP, on average over the study period. Potential VAD lost to agriculture due to water abstraction by cultivated forests was estimated at R104 million per annum, on average since 1981. This estimate, however, did not account for the social costs associated with potential losses of environmental services from affected ecosystems.

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