Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Ecosystem damage costs trillions per year

Latest update : 2008-05-29

Ongoing damage to our ecosystem involves a cost of between 1.35 and 3.1 trillion euros every year, according to a report commissioned by the EU and the German government and released Thursday at a major UN conference on biodiversity.

Environmental damage and species loss costs between 1.35 and 3.1 trillion euros every year, according to a report released Thursday at a major UN conference on biodiversity.

 

The study, commissioned by the European Union (EU) and the German government, is the biggest assessment ever made of the economic impact of ecological damage, and supporters compared it to the famous "Stern Report" on the cost of climate change.

It was issued at a meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, a 12-day meeting in Bonn of 6,000 representatives from 191 nations due to wind up on Friday.

The report, entitled "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity," attaches a monetary value to species and to environmental assets that usually are not considered in cash terms.

It looks, for instance, at the dollar value of clean water, healthy soil, protection from floods and soil erosion, natural medicines and natural sinks that store greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane.

"Though our wellbeing is totally dependent on these 'ecosystem services', they are predominantly public goods with no markets and no prices," the report notes.

Principal author Pavan Sukhdev, who heads Deutsche Bank’s global markets business in India, described this lack as "trying to navigate uncharted and turbulent waters with an old and defective economic compass."

Sukhdev warned that some ecosystems were probably already damaged beyond repair, and predicted other systems would be badly wounded unless protective measures were urgently taken.

He said that by 2050, under a "business-as-usual" scenario, these catastrophes loom:

-- 11 percent of natural areas remaining in 2000 could be lost due to conversion to agriculture, development, and climate change;

-- 40 percent of land currently under low-impact agriculture could become intensively farmed, accelerate biodiversity losses;

-- 60 percent of coral reefs could be lost, directly affecting the livelihood of a billion people.

As with climate change, the consequences of this damage will fall mainly on the world's poorest and most vulnerable denizens, according to the report.

The true value of biodiversity and ecosystem services must be incorporated into policy decisions, the study said.

Environmental groups at the meeting in Bonn welcomed the report. "This is a long overdue recognition of biodiversity as a key development issue," said Gordon Shepard, director of international policy for World Wildlife Fund International.

The report puts a spotlight "on the economic value of biodiversity both to our global economy and for the millions of people directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods," he said.

Joan Ruddock, the British Minister for Wildlife, said the report "is vital to the effort to stem the loss of species and habitats," and announced that Britain would help fund a fuller study.

About 150 species of flora and fauna go extinct every day, a rate that is 100 to 1000 times higher than a natural dying out of species, according to scientists.

The inspiration for the new report is the landmark 2006 assessment by British economist Sir Nicholas Stern that sparked awareness about the economic cost of global warming.

Stern said that climate change could shrink the global economy by as much as 20 percent, but if action were taken immediately, the bill would be only one percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
 

Date created : 2008-05-29

COMMENT(S)