Forests ecosystems provide several intangible benefits which policy makers ignore since these values do not register in conventional markets or are difficult to measure. Drawing on results of a case study of a forest reserve in Japan, this paper suggests that the annual value of the ecosystem services provided by forests is not only worth millions of dollars, but also in per hectare terms much more than hitherto known. This value for the Oku Aizu forest reserve ranged US$ 1.427-1.482 billion or about US$ 17,016-17,671 per ha. If these are accounted for, then governments and societies faced with the development versus conservation dilemma can make more informed decisions and policies that will help conserve forests and the ecosystem services they provide, and thereby promote human well-being and sustainable development.
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