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

FACE’s commitment on Ecosystem services in The Biodiversity Manifesto

MAES: Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services

TEEB: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity

The Commission on the Economics of Biodiversity:

(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