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Posted Thu Jan 6 2011: from BBC:
Dollar trees line conservation road
Maybe money does grow on trees. Certainly, you can find a growing number of people in the conservation movement suggesting that it does; and that if the money is to keep flowing, the wealth in the trees needs to be secured as safely as gold bars in any bank. If forests do not actually sprout banknotes, they do provide services whose value in monetary terms can be measured... refuges for pollinating insects, roots that prevent landslides, absorption of climate-changing carbon dioixide - even places where we like to walk. So do prairies and coral reefs and marshes and... well, pretty much any other life-bearing pieces of nature you care to mention. A UN-backed project called The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Teeb) has calculated that destruction of forests alone is costing the global economy $2-5 trillion per year.... The poster child for Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is Costa Rica.... And more and more governments are at least flirting with PES. In the EU and US, farmers are rewarded for managing the land in ways that benefit birds, mammals and insects. Agrochemical and seed company Syngenta is financing training for farmers to help them look after pollinating insects. Soft-drink companies are funding the preservation of landscapes that ensure the water supply they need. A fledging market in "biodiversity offsets" is developing, allowing companies to protect nature in one place in recompense for degrading it somewhere else.
[Read more stories about: smart policy, rights of nature, species restoration]

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'Doc Jim says:
Economists just might save the world after all.

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