Economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management
Natural capital – our ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources – underpins economies, societies and individual well-being. However, the values of ecosystem services and underlying biodiversity are all too often overlooked or poorly understood. Rarely are they reflected in price signals in markets, and taken into account in day to day decisions by business and citizens. Nor are they reflected adequately in the economic accounts of society.
Decision-makers with better access to information on ecosystem service values and on economic policy tools will be better placed to make efficient, cost-effective and fair choices and to justify their reasons for taking action, or for choosing between policy options.
For example, biodiversity loss and land degradation is undermining food security. The collapse in fisheries and other food harvested from the wild is a major problem in this regard. The loss of diversity of the wild races of domesticated plants and animals as a result of habitat loss or of ancient domesticated varieties as farmers adopt fewer modern hybrids in their farming systems is similarly a serious concern.
Cancun December 2010
Nagoya October 2010