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Time to tap climate-change-combating potential of the world's ecosystems
Date:9/2/2009

This release is available in German.

Berlin, 2 September 2009 - Investing in restoration and maintenance of the Earth's multi-trillion dollar ecosystems - from forests and mangroves to wetlands and river basins - can have a key role in countering climate change and climate-proofing vulnerable economies.

This is among the central findings of a new climate issues update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a project launched by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers (Potsdam, Germany 2007) to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss. The study is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme. The issues update was launched today by TEEB study leader Pavan Sukhdev, with German Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel; Director-General for Environment, European Commission, Karl Falkenberg; and UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner.

It says the planet's biological diversity and 'ecological infrastructure' are increasingly being put at risk from the impact of climbing greenhouse gases.

Yet natural systems represent one of the biggest untapped allies against the greatest challenge of this generation, says the paper, part of a stream of work towards a final study in 2010.

Pump-Priming Nature's Mitigation and Adaptation Engine

The update underlines that an agreement on funding for forests is a key priority for governments attending the crucial United Nations climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in December.

An estimated 5 gigatonnes or 15 per cent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions - the principal greenhouse gas - are being absorbed or 'sequestrated' by forests every year, making them the "mitigation engine" of the natural world. This could also be described as
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1269
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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