Forestry Focus

Forest Economics

Forest economics provides essential information that helps forest policy decision making at both the sectoral level and at the forest level.

Traditionally, forest economics was concerned exclusively with the process of timber production. Today, however, its scope has expanded to take account of the multi-functional role that forests have in delivering not only economic benefits to society but also environmental, social and cultural benefits.

Forest economics is now assessing the value of the public goods that forestry delivers, including climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, water quality protection, recreation, and landscape value. Putting a monetary value on these public goods helps to give a clearer picture of the economic contribution that forests provide to society and also to demonstrate the net public benefit of forestry in comparison with other land uses.

Below are links to a number of key publications on different aspects of forest economics in Ireland – from the socio-economic contribution of the forestry sector to national economy, to the financial returns from planting broadleaf species:


Analysis of the socio-economic contribution of forestry in Ireland

By Áine Ní Dhubháin, Marie-Christine Fléchard, Richard Moloney, Deirdre O’Connor, Tim Crowley (2006)

Modelling the economics of forestry in Ireland – The returns to farm afforestation

By Mary Ryan – Teagasc

Coford Connects Socio-economics Note No. 5 (2010)

Code of Practice for the Valuation of Commercial Forest Plantations – DRAFT

By the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2012). Final version is published by COFORD


Forestry: A Growth Industry in Ireland

By Peter Bacon and Associates (2003)

Economic Value of Trails and Forest Recreation in the Republic of Ireland 

By Fitzpatrick Associates (2005)

An Economic Evaluation of the Market and Non-Market Functions of Forestry

By Áine Ní Dhubháin, Craig Bullock, Richard Moloney and Vincent Upton