Land Use Change and Economics of Land Degradation in the Baltic Region
In this paper, we adapt a new conceptual framework for the assessment of the economics of land degradation and sustainable land management to the Baltic region. The findings show that the problem of land degradation in the countries of the region is quite substantial, manifesting itself through reductions in the provision of land ecosystem services. Using a benefit transfer approach, the total economic value of these losses due to land degradation is estimated to be about 9 billion USD annually. On the other hand, we find that every dollar invested into restoring the degraded land ecosystems may return about 3 dollars in social gains after a 6-year period following the re-establishment of the higher value biome, making actions to address land degradation in the region both environmentally valuable and economically attractive.
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