Sunday, November 15, 2009

It pays to conserve

I have just come across this study (BBC story on TEEB) by The Economics and Biodiversity Study ("teeb") - reported by the BBC.  Essentially demonstrating that if we protect wetlands, coral reefs and forests we can get  back - in economic benefit - many times more than we spend.  For example - if we expand marine parks from 1% of the ocean area to say 30% - this would cost about $40 - $50 billion per year globally.  But the economic return would about $4-5 TRILLION.  How so?  By increasing fish catches, improving tourism revenue - and most significantly protection along shorelines from storm damage.

The picture is Longreach Bay just before the sun sets to the West - one of my favourite spots on Rottnest Island off the coast from Perth Western Australia.

With sea levels anticipated to rise by over a metre on the west coast of Australia over the next 20-30 years  - see the recent Australian Federal Government study( Australian Parliament Study)
Longreach will disappear - because scientists in the study estimate that for every 1 meter of sea level rise the shore will recede 50 to 100 meters.

Great to see some disciplined analysis around the issues of conservation.

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