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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1995) 40(1): 15–18
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Accounting for planatations - national accounts and forestry

H. Bigsby

The System of National Accounts provides a mechanism for capturing the economic benefits associated with changes to a forest estate. This is done by treating the forest as a stock or 'material in process' for an eventual log product. The economic benefit is estimated by calculating the change in the value of the forest estate from one year to the next. The change in value can arise from changes in area, age class, market prices or silvicultural practices. New Zealand stands out as being the only nation which has actually implemented this mechanism. The impetus for this was the rapid expansion of the exotic forest estate which was not being captured in economic statistics. Using this measure, additions to the value of the forest estate have contributed to 1.5% of New Zealand's GDP in recent years. The paper describes how the 'materials in process' approach works and how it has been used to account for changes to New Zealand's plantation forest estate.
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