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Monday, 13 September 2010

Biodiversity: Powering up local authorities around the globe

How can local authorities save money while boosting economies, enhancing quality of life and generating employment? By factoring ecosystem services into policy-making, according to a new report. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Local and Regional Policy Makers report shows local policy makers how to improve their understanding of the value and services provided by natural capital like woodlands, parks and waterways, and to reap benefits in local policy areas such as urban management, spatial planning and protected areas management. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: "Local and regional planning authorities wield enormous power, and can be a tremendous force for good. This report showcases numerous examples of the successful integration of biodiversity-friendly thinking into local planning decisions around the world, with detailed benefits for local citizens. In many cases, it's a roadmap to environmental success." TEEB Study Leader Pavan Sukhdev said: “Nature’s multiple and complex values have direct economic impacts on human well-being and public spending at a local and well as national level. By focusing on the various benefits from nature we can see the direct and indirect ways that we depend on the natural environment and this insight can substantially support local policy and public management. We urge local authorities to read this report and recognize the benefits provided by nature and the economic dimension of their local natural capital.”

Source: European Commission