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The economic importance of biodiversity

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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The economic importance of biodiversity

A three-year study project examining the benefits the world gets for free from nature has published its final report. TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – has gathered the best available economic evidence showing that the costs brought by the degradation of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity are nothing short of unaffordable for our societies. It has synthesised thousands of studies, examined valuation methods, policy instruments and examples of action from around the world. Referring to numerous case studies, the report concludes with ten recommendations to help citizens and policymakers factor biodiversity into everyday decisions. The European Commission is a major funder of the study, which was hosted by the UN environment programme. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: "While of course valuing nature for itself, we also recognise its economic value in the battle to stop biodiversity loss. The European Commission has supported the TEEB project from the start and will continue to do so. We will look at ways to implement in our policies the analyses developed by TEEB. We are also willing to support initiatives by other countries to demonstrate the benefits and costs of investing in managing biodiversity and ecosystem services."TEEB Study Leader Pavan Sukhdev said: “TEEB has documented not only the multi-trillion dollar importance to the global economy of the natural world, but the kinds of policy-shifts and smart market mechanisms that can embed fresh thinking in a world beset by a rising raft of multiple challenges. The good news is that many communities and countries are already seeing the potential of incorporating the value of nature into decision-making.”

Source: European Commission