At CBD COP 9 today, 29th May, a report setting out a "comprehensive and compelling economic case for the conservation of biodiversity" was presented by the report's author Mr. Pavan Sukhdev. The work was launched in 2007 by Minister Sigmar Gabriel of Germany and Stavros Dimas the Commissioner responsible for Environment in the European Commission, to promote a better understanding of the true economic value of the benefits we receive from nature. The report presented today is the interim report of the work which will continue in 2009 and 2010.
Mr Sukhdev, a senior figure in Deutsche Bank, said that the interim report showed "we are trying to navigate uncharted and turbulent waters with an old and defective economic compass and that this was affecting our ability to forge a sustainable economy in harmony with nature."
What is the Issue?
Nature provides human society with a vast diversity of benefits such as food, fibres fuel, clean water, healthy soil, protection from floods, protection from soil erosion, medicines, storing carbon (important in the fight against climate change) and many more. Though our wellbeing is totally dependent upon these "ecosystem services" they are predominantly public goods with no markets and no prices, so they often are not detected by our current economic compass. As a result, due to the pressures coming from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation and also climate change, biodiversity is declining, our ecosystems are being continuously degraded and we, in turn, are suffering the consequences.
What is Happening to Our Biodiversity and Ecosystems?
The report presented today shows that if we do not adopt the right policies, the current decline in biodiversity and the related loss of ecosystem services will continue and in some cases even accelerate. Some ecosystems are likely to be damaged beyond repair. With a "business as usual" scenario, by 2050 we will be faced
|Contact: Tilo Arnhold|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres