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TEEB report released on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity for policy makers

mercial shrimp farms can generate returns of around $1,220 per hectare by clearing mangrove forests. But this does not take into account the losses to local communities totaling over $12,000 a hectare linked with wood and non-wood forest products, fisheries and coastal protection services (Barbier 2007).

Nor does the profit to the commercial operators take into account the costs of rehabilitating the abandoned sites after five years of exploitationestimated at over $9,000 a hectare.

The report outlines a ten-point plan aimed at catalyzing a transition to more ecosystem savvy economies able to meet the multiple challenges and deliver the multiple opportunities on a planet of six billion people, rising to nine billion by 2050.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Friday 13 November, Pavan Sukhdev, TEEB's Study Leader, said: "Nature's multiple and complex values have direct economic impacts on human well being and public and private spending. Recognizing and rewarding the value delivered to society by the natural environment must become a policy priority.

The economic invisibility of ecosystems and biodiversity is increased by our dominant economic model, which is consumption-led, production-driven, and GDP-measured. This model is in need of significant reform. The multiple crises we are experiencing fuel, food, finance, and the economy serve as reminders of the need for change.

It is now up to governments to provide fiscal or other incentives to move us from short-term opportunism to long term stewardship. The right policies can help us move toward a resource efficient economy."

The report comes in advance of the UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen where governments are expected to give the green light to funding developing countries to maintain forests.

Close to 20 per cent of current global greenhouse gas emissions are linked with deforestation. Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)

Contact: Tilo Arnhold
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

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TEEB report released on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity for policy makers
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