Forests provide people with a variety of services and products (protection against avalanches, walking trails, etc.). Most forest services and products are not provided by markets and the extent of their availability is often guaranteed by public funding. In this context, the question arises whether the high benefits derived from forests could not be converted into cash more easily. Looking at various explanations for the market failure (externalities, public goods, property rights) possible marketing strategies for forest products and services and how they could optimize social welfare are investigated. Although general compensation criteria are not available, economic concepts (type of externality, scarcity, etc.) provide a first clue as to the necessity of compensation. However, mention must be made that compensation is always the result of a social agreement, and financial compensation as well as property rights are subject to social change. From a political and an economic perspective the payment of compensation for forest benefits is limited.

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