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Global value of wildlife

Patchwork of arable and livestock fields

Image: Andy Hay

From the migration of swallows between Africa and the UK, to domestic carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change, environmental issues clearly illustrate the need for integrated international approaches to decision making.

Given that decisions are increasingly being made on international and global stages, it is important for our research to reflect the challenges being faced by world leaders.

Economic valuation of ecosystem services can be used to make the case for conserving resources, species and ecosystems to decision makers. 

We've been involved in global research for a number of years. In 2002, we brought together a team of ecologists and economists to Cambridge University to assess the real, economic value of global nature.

Unravelling the web looks at previous research to conclude that the value of biodiversity value is huge, because of the services that nature provides. This study shows just how valuable it is, just how much we destroy, and how little it would cost to protect it.

The cost of biodiversity loss

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an international initiative that has been set up to look into valuing the costs and benefits of nature.

It has estimated, based on analysis on ecosystem services that without action biodiversity loss will cost 7% of global GDP per year by 2050. This far exceeds the impact of the late 2000s financial crisis. More information and additional reports from TEEB can be found via the link on the right hand side of this page.