RECOGNISING THE TRUE VALUE OF NATURE

27 October 2010 | News story

RETHINKING TODAY’S SUBSIDIES TO REFLECT TOMORROW’S PRIORITIES

The EUROPARC Federation calls upon the European Commission and National Governments to realize the importance of and act upon the recommendations made in the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Report where the valuation of ecosystems services are concerned.

The final TEEB synthesis was released on Wednesday 20th October at the tenth Conference of the Parties in Nagoya (18 – 29 October 2010). Throughout the meeting it will be at the heart of discussions concerning the need to put an economic value on the services naturs provides, such as fertile soil, the pollination of our crops, and flood defences.

There is a further need to recognise the economic value of protected areas and their role in supporting and driving local economies EUROPARC calls for the recognition within the European Commission and national governments of the clear and substantial role protected areas have in delivering ecosystem services. The environment should sit at the heart of all Commission’s policies and decisions and be recognised as the main instrument to deliver sustainable economic practices.

The TEEB report underlines the urgency for policy makers to recognize the need to secure positive support for biodiversity management. "All economic activity and most of human well-being, whether in an urban or non-urban setting, are based on a healthy, functioning environment. Nature's multiple and complex values have direct economic impacts on human well-being and public spending at a local and well as national level” said Pavan Sukhdev, study leader of the TEEB.

Protected areas can play a major role in achieving sustainable economies through demonstration of best practice. Yet government decisions across Europe have the potential to diminish these natural assets through significant cuts in the management of these protected areas. The lack of investment by governments seriously undermines the ability of protected areas to adequately secure the value of these natural resource, sustain economies and release the ecosystem benefits needed for society.

The EUROPARC Federation, calls upon the European Commission and national governments as a matter of urgency, to accept the recommendations made in the TEEB Report: to rethink today’s subsidies to reflect tomorrow’s priorities; to reward unrecognized benefits and penalize uncaptured costs; to share the benefits of conservation and to measure what is managed. By adopting these simple yet effective principles will ensure that ecosystem services delivered by protected areas are available for the long term and thus create sustainable economies that underpin all European communities and the environment they depend upon.

Notes for editors: 

TEEB (http://www.teebweb.org/) is an independent study, led by Pavan Sukhdev, hosted by United Nations Environment Programme with financial support from the European Commission; Germany, UK , the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Mr. Sukhdev also spearheads the Green Economy Initiative of the UN Environment Programme. The TEEB for Local and Regional Policy Makers report is one of a series of five interconnected reports. A TEEB for citizens website goes live in the lead up to Nagoya and the final TEEB synthesis report will be released at the CBD COP10 meeting at Nagoya in October 2010.

The EUROPARC Federation (www.europarc.org) is committed to the protection and promotion of Europe’s protected areas and all they offer. We are the foremost and largest NGO representing European protected areas, uniting national parks, regional parks, nature parks and biosphere reserves in 39 countries, with the common aim of conserving Europe's unique variety of wildlife, habitats and landscapes. President is Mrs Erika Stanciu and Director Miss Carol Ritchie.

Contact: Miss Morwenna Parkyn, Communications Officer, m.parkyn@europarc.org Tel: 0049 (0)8552 961 021, Mobile: 0049 (0)176 810 57827 EUROPARC Federation Regensburg, Waffnergasse 6, 93047 Regensburg www.europarc.org


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.