Forests provide diverse ecosystem services – they produce raw wood, protect drinking water, bind carbon and are recreational areas. All these services have an economic value even if there are no markets for them.
We determine these values by examining consumer behaviour and carrying out direct surveys. We found out that the recreational value of German forests is almost as high as the value of wood production. This makes it easier to understand the "value of nature". We can then provide targeted advice to forestry practitioners concerning the general population’s wishes and to policymakers about suitable framework conditions. One example is the development of financial incentives for producers to help them increase their consideration of the social demands placed on forests.