Hunting is an important socio-economic activity, particularly in rural areas. Recent research reports have suggested that within the EU alone hunting may be worth an estimated €16 billion.¹
This apart from being an estimate does not capture the complexity of values that can be added, derived or offset from hunting activities. These values could include:
- Direct economic benefits - payments by hunters towards hunting fees, equipment accommodation etc • Environmental benefits - these include aspects related to conservation activities, ecosystem retention and management.
- Social benefits - hunting is often a very important social and cultural activity in many rural areas which has value in binding communities as well as offering useful social integration tools.
- Future bequest benefits - hunting helps retain a link to rural areas and an understanding of ecosystem functioning that serves to retain cultural knowledge and understanding for future generations.
- Opportunity costs – these are related mainly to the costs that would be incurred by Governments in managing wildlife populations and paying for damages incurred by these populations.
Given that hunting is a widespread component of rural activities it is vital that its importance be assessed, particularly in more marginal areas. To this end FACE is looking to support socio-economic evaluations of hunting in Europe in order to advance our understanding of the economic benefits to better inform policy decisions in rural areas and for biodiversity.
Payments for Ecosystem Services
MAES: Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services
TEEB: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity http://www.teebweb.org/
(1) Kenward, R. & Sharp, R. (2008) Use Nationally of Wildlife Resources Across Europe, 117-132.: in Manos, P. & Papathanasiou, J. [eds.] (2008) GEM-CON-BIO: Governance & Ecosystems Management for the Conservation of Biodiversity. Thessaloniki