Quantifying and valuing the role of trees and forests on environmental quality and human health
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In: van den Bosch, M.; Bird, W., eds. Nature and Public Health. Oxford textbook of nature and public health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press: 312-316. Chapter 10.4.
Nature provides numerous services that affect the lives and wellbeing of people across the globe. Understanding impacts and benefits of nature will lead to better management decisions and designs in sustaining nature within society. One of the most dominant aspects of nature in many areas of the globe is vegetation, and one of the most dominant elements of vegetation in many areas are trees and forests. In addition to environmental quality, these trees and forests, particularly when within urban areas, have substantial impacts on human population health and well-being. Understanding the myriad of potential services and costs associated with trees and forests is critical to estimating net benefits of vegetation and for guiding appropriate vegetation management plans. However, while many of the ecosystem services and costs of vegetation cannot be adequately quantified or valued at this time, it is important to understand within decision-making processes that these services or costs do exist. Discounting nature or vegetation as having no value leads to uninformed decisions regarding nature (e.g. Costanza et al., 2014). Quantifying or understanding monetary and non-monetary values of nature in a given context, though difficult, will lead to more informed environmental and economic decisions.
Nowak, David J. 2018. Quantifying and valuing the role of trees and forests on environmental quality and human health. In: van den Bosch, M.; Bird, W., eds. Nature and Public Health. Oxford textbook of nature and public health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press: 312-316. Chapter 10.4.