Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Profit From Nature Protection

Good news, from a new UN report:

Money invested in protecting nature can bring huge financial returns, according to a major investigation into the costs and benefits of the natural world.

It says money ploughed into protecting wetlands, coral reefs and forests can bring a hundredfold return on capital.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity study (Teeb) is backed by the UN and countries including the UK.

"We have now evaluated 1,100 studies ranging across different countries and different ecosystem services," said study leader Pavan Sukhdev, a Deutsche Bank economist.

"And we find that with protected areas, for example, no matter how you slice the figures up you come up with a ratio of benefits to costs that's between 25-to-one and 100-to-one.

"Now we can say quite confidently that there is a solid benefit from investing in protected areas," he told BBC News.

Other examples given in the report include:
  • a Costa Rican study showing that areas of intact forest increase the yield of coffee farms by 20% because they shelter pollinating insects
  • a grassland conservation area in New Zealand that supplies the Otago region with free water that would cost $100m per year to bring in from elsewhere
  • in Vietnam, planting and protecting nearly 12,000 hectares of mangroves cost the government $1.1m but saved annual expenditures on dyke maintenance of $7.3m
Who was talking about this stuff 15 years ago?  These are exciting times...

Read the full article>>

Read the C.S. Monitor's Coverage>> 

Read the Triple Pundit's coverage of this report>>

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