Report calls for value to be placed on nature
5 March 2013
Commenting on the Ecosystem Market Task Force report published today (Tuesday 5 March 2013), which makes the business case for protecting nature, Friends of the Earth's Nature Campaigner Sandra Bell said:
"Species loss and environmental damage are not only bad news for nature they can spell economic devastation too.
"Replacing the pollination freely provided by declining bee numbers would cost the UK economy £1.8 billion.
"Ministers must heed the alarm bells and take tougher action to protect our natural resources for future generations.
"But nature's value is far more than just monetary - it's much too important to be traded on the market."
1. The business-led Ecosystem Market Task Force report is published today: http://www.defra.gov.uk/ecosystem-markets/work/publications-reports/
2. Friends of the Earth agrees:
· that businesses should adapt their ways of working to properly protect the natural systems that their success relies upon. Businesses must play their part in the urgent task of reversing the alarming decline in species and natural resources.
· that Governments must also act to protect nature and encourage better business practices. Voluntary action by businesses is not a substitute for strong political leadership, the right policy and financial incentives and - where necessary - legislation.
3. But some of the Task Force recommendations - such as biodiversity offsetting - are fundamentally flawed. The suggestion that a developer should be able to pay for damaging a wildlife area with the promise that new natural space will be created somewhere else - is a real threat to our cherished local nature sites and will do nothing to restore nature on the scale needed across Britain.
4. Not all that nature provides can be measured in monetary terms. Bees and other insect pollinators have an economic value to farming. But they also have an immense value in pollinating the plants that we enjoy in our parks and gardens and that other wildlife depends upon -and we can't put a price on the pleasure of seeing the first bumblebee of Spring.
5. To protect bees needs a combination of good business practice and Government action in response to known threats such as pesticide use.
6. EMTF was set up to advise the Government on the business opportunities from expanding green goods, services, etc, which value nature and ecosystem services. Its remit is found here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/ecosystem-markets/about/we-will-do/
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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Mar 2013