The Value of Nature

I wrote about nature’s often overlooked value for National Wildlife several years ago in “What Is Clean Water Worth?”

In that piece, I noted that replacing the natural filtration the undeveloped Catskills provides for New York City’s water supply would cost unfathomable billions of dollars.

Now, a new report from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Initiative out of the United Nations proposes some preventive maintenance for the Earth.

From the report:

Solutions are already emerging from cooperation between
economists and scientists – and being tested
and refined around the world. They point to four urgent
strategic priorities:
• to halt deforestation and forest degradation
(i) as an integral part of climate change mitigation
and adaptation focused on ‘green carbon’ and (ii) to
preserve the huge range of services and goods
forests provide to local people and the wider
• to protect tropical coral reefs – and the associated
livelihoods of half a billion people – through
major efforts to avoid global temperature rise and
ocean acidification;
• to save and restore global fisheries and related
jobs, currently an underperforming asset in danger
of collapse and generating US$ 50 billion less per
year than it could;
• to recognise the deep link between ecosystem
degradation and the persistence of
rural poverty and align policies across sectors
with key Millennium Development Goals.

The full report is at


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