October 27, 2010

Placing value on contributions of the natural world

One of the key reports at the Conference of Parties 10 (COP10) meeting in Japan came from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a three-year study supported by the United Nations and sponsored by the European Union, Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The reports generated by the TEEB study sought to highlight valued aspects of nature to help governments and organizations better appreciate and manage resources to preserve biodiversity.

The study pointed out, for example, that incomes even now for the rural less fortunate are being sustainably generated from forests and other ecosystems in developing countries.

In another example, the US state of New York was noted to save US$6.5 billion by preserving the Catskill mountain watershed to naturally purify water rather than investing in a human-made solution.

UN Environment Program (UNEP) chief Achim Steiner commented on the perspective offered by this new report, stating, “TEEB has brought to the world's attention that nature's goods and services are equal, if not far more central, to the wealth of nations.”

Achim Steiner – Executive Director, UNEP (M): Society still considers much of what biodiversity ecosystems represent to us as invisible services, as something that, because it has no easily calculable economic value, is therefore in the side, sadly, without value. And yet, all our work as scientists, as government representatives, as business actors, has been, in this context at least, to show the value to people, to societies, of biodiverse ecosystems.

And speaking of TEEB’s ability to harmonize nature and economy, Pavan Sukhdev, head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, said, “The good news is that many communities and countries are already seeing the potential of incorporating the value of nature into decision-making.”

Many thanks, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity researchers, United Nations Environment Program, and sponsoring countries for your study that brings to light the vital value of our diverse flora and fauna.

May such findings help foster the actions necessary to preserve our beautiful world and all her inhabitants.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often highlighted the need to care for the ecosphere in order to protect ourselves and the planet, as during a videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan)in July 2008.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Everyone knows by now that protecting the environment, protecting the animals, are actually protecting ourselves. So we must protect the environment.

We should have more rules, more guidelines, to protect natural habitats. Because sometimes we overlook the long run effect. Then the consequence is very, very detrimental to ourselves and to the planet, just like what we are facing right now.

People must be more aware of our dire situation and that everyone’s responsible action does help to minimize or stop global warming. We should act fast. Be veg. Go green.

http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=649&ArticleID=6791&l=en&t=long
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101020/bs_afp/unenvironmentbiodiversityeconomy
http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/21276

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