Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Are Coral Reef Services Worth? $130,000 to $1.2 Million Per Hectare, Per Year: Experts

In another stunning example of conservation value, a new report estimates that coral reef ecosystems provide services worth $130,000 to $1.2 million per hectare (a hectare is about 2.5 acres).

Based on analysis of more than 80 coral reef valuation studies, the worth of services per hectare of coral reef breaks down as follows:
  • Food, raw materials, ornamental resources: average $1,100 (up to $6,000);
  • Climate regulation, moderation of extreme events, waste treatment / water purification, biological control: average $26,000 (up to $35,000);
  • Cultural services (eg. recreation / tourism): average $88,700 (up to $1.1 million)
  • Maintenance of genetic diversity: average $13,500 (up to $57,000)
Taken together, coral reef services worldwide have an average annual value estimated at $172 billion

How do rates of return on investment (ROI) look for ecosystem restoration that protects and restores ecosystem services?

“Investment in protected areas holds exceptional high returns,” (the report's author) says. Previous studies have shown that investing $45 billion “could secure nature-based services worth some $4.5 to 5.2 trillion annually.” Among the specific examples cited: planting mangroves along a coastline in Vietnam cost $1.1 million but saved $ 7.3 million annually in dyke maintenance.

Examples of a rate of return on investments in ecosystem restoration:
  • Coral reefs: 7%, (with a cost-benefit ratio of 2.8);
  • Rivers: 27%, (cost-benefit ratio 15.5);
  • Tropical forests: 50% (cost-benefit ratio 37.3);
  • Mangroves: 40%, (cost-benefit ratio 26.4);
  • Grasslands: 79%, (cost-benefit ratio 75.1).
Ten years ago, this conversation was just beginning.  Now, it's more crucial than ever to get to work on systems thinking for converting these types of findings into actionable solutions.

Read more>>

No comments:

Post a Comment