Placing a value on nature
Deltas provide natural defence systems, fish stocks and a green environment for leisure activities. These ecosystem services are undervalued and are threatened by climate change.
The benefits of conserving biodiversity can outweigh the costs by up to 100 times
Ironically, in a world where everything is measured and under control, economic dataon the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity is lacking. Despite the improved conservation policies that EU member states have introduced, biodiversity is still under serious threat. Surveys have shown that over half of the freshwater fish species in the EU are threatened, along with over 40 percent of its native mammals, butterflies and reptiles, 30 percent of amphibians and 15 percent of birds. And a number of species are on the verge of extinction. However, the EU is not alone: most of the worlds prosperous regions show similar figures. Spawning grounds such as coral reefs are disappearing, melting ice caps are depopulating polar habitats, tropical rainforests are being transformed into farmland and a hitherto unknown disease is decimating bee colonies. The main causes of these losses are economic development, intensification of farming, and climate change read more »