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Economic value of insect pollination worldwide estimated at 153 billion euros
Date:9/15/2008

This press release is available in German.

Avignon/Halle(Saale). INRA and CNRS French scientists and a UFZ German scientist found that the worldwide economic value of the pollination service provided by insect pollinators, bees mainly, was 153 billion in 2005 for the main crops that feed the world. This figure amounted to 9.5% of the total value of the world agricultural food production. The study also determined that pollinator disappearance would translate into a consumer surplus loss estimated between 190 to 310 billion. The results of this study on the economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline are published in the journal "ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS".

Among biodiversity concerns, the decline of pollinators has become a major issue, but its impact remains an open question. In particular, the economic value of the pollination service they provide had not been assessed on solid ground to date. Based upon the figures of the literature review published in 2007 on pollinator dependence of the main crops used for food, the study just published in ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS uses FAO and original data to calculate the value of the pollinator contribution to the food production in the world. The total economic value of pollination worldwide amounted to 153 billion in 2005, which represented 9.5% of the value of the world agricultural production used for human food that year.

Three main crop categories (following FAO terminology) were particularly concerned ; fruits and vegetable were especially affected with a loss estimated at 50 billion each, followed by edible oilseed crops with 39 billion. The impact on stimulants (coffee, cocoa), nuts and spices was less, at least in economic terms.

The scientists also found that the average value of crops that depend on insect
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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