Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biodiversity as a natural resource

21.05.2008
What will the loss of biodiversity cost us in the long term? How much do national economies need to invest now in order to stop the trend? And what price will we have to pay if we do not act?

These are the questions the TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – project is seeking to answer. The pilot study led by Pavan Sukhdev, who is head of Deutsche Bank’s Global Market Centre in London, was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the European Union. The BMU asked the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) to co-manage the scientific contributions to the study.

Preliminary results will be presented at a press conference during the 9th UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP9) in Bonn, Germany on 29 May, which will be followed by an event open to the general public the same evening.

"Biological diversity not only maintains the equilibrium of ecosystems, it is also an inexhaustible source of potential new drugs. It helps sustain a healthy food chain and promotes water and soil quality," says Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. "Its value goes far beyond anything we can describe using economic indices, yet the material benefits it offers humankind are also tremendous."

Five thousand United Nations delegates from 190 countries will gather in Bonn from 19 to 30 May 2008. During the conference, they will focus primarily on discussing potential ways to halt the steady decline of biological diversity. "We are currently experiencing the sixth wave of extinctions in the history of our planet; this one has primarily been caused by hu-mans encroaching on the habitats of other species. And we are only now beginning to understand the economic value of biological diversity," explains Mlynek.

Financial expert Pavan Sukhdev estimates that the "value" of the services offered in the nature reserves on the world’s five continents (not counting marine parks and reserves) –adds up to around $5 billion per year. Yet establishing the global value of biodiversity is not the main focus of the study. As is the case with global warming, it is the poor, particularly those in developing and emerging economies, who stand to suffer the most from the loss of so-called ecosystemic services. Preserving biodiversity is thus necessary if we are to fight global poverty and attain the Millennium Development Goals.

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research acted as co-coordinator of the scientific contributions to the study. Researchers at the UFZ are currently preparing to continue collaborating on the report, which will move on to the next phase after COP9. Dr. Heidi Wittmer, a senior researcher at UFZ who helped compile the report, spoke of her hopes for the project: "The Stern Review changed the way we look at the economic consequences of climate change. It is our hope that the TEEB Report will do the same for biodiversity. It is becoming clear that stopping the extinction of species is not merely a romantic notion, but is actually crucial for human survival."

Exhibition: "Millionen Arten zu leben" (Millions of Ways of Life), Plaza of Diversity, near Robert-Schumann-Platz, Stand 30; open Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from 19 to 26 May, and daily between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from 27 to 30 May.

Tilo Arnhold | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=10690

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve

23.07.2018 | Science Education

FAU researchers identify Parkinson's disease as a possible autoimmune disease

23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

O2 stable hydrogenases for applications

23.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>