Money invested in protecting nature can bring huge financial returns – a hundredfold return on capital.
“We have now evaluated 1,100 studies ranging across different countries and different ecosystem services.
“And we find that with protected areas, for example, no matter how you slice the figures up you come up with a ratio of benefits to costs that’s between 25-to-one and 100-to-one.
“Now we can say quite confidently that there is a solid benefit from investing in protected areas.”
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity study is the first attempt to evaluate the economic value of ‘ecosystem services’ – things that parts of the natural world do for free, such as purifying drinking water.
Some governments are on board already: Germany – which initiated the project in 2007 – Norway, and the UK. [BBC]