The boreal forest and its wetlands provide many benefits. These ecosystem services include;
Many conservationists believe these services have intrinsic value that are worth protecting. Economists and ecologists have demonstrated that these services also have economic value. Their calculations include market value, such as hydro-electricity, timber and oil and gas. They include non-market value, such as carbon sequestration, water regulation and pest control.
The Canadian Boreal Initiative estimates $50.9 billion* of market value services are extracted from the boreal forest annually. The non-market value is an estimated $703 billion, nearly 14 times greater. Carbon storage by forests and wetlands has the highest value of all ecosystem services at $582 billion, followed by flood control and water filtering by peatlands at $77 billion and other wetlands at $33.7 billion. DUC researchers are developing methods to apply the value of ecosystem services in conservation, policy and land use planning. *2002 value