Losing more money in our forests than our banks?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 11, 2008
get elephant's newsletter

Below, another article from a trusted news source—BBC, no less—that shows the economic potential windfull that might come from political leadership that took care of our environment. For more, click the link at bottom of the below excerpt or…check out Van Jones’s new book on Green Jobs.

…The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.

The study, headed by a Deutsche Bank economist, parallels the Stern Review into the economics of climate change.

It has been discussed during many sessions here at the World Conservation Congress.

Some conservationists see it as a new way of persuading policymakers to fund nature protection rather than allowing the decline in ecosystems and species, highlighted in the release on Monday of the Red List of Threatened Species, to continue.

Speaking to BBC News on the fringes of the congress, study leader Pavan Sukhdev emphasised that the cost of natural decline dwarfs losses on the financial markets.

“It’s not only greater but it’s also continuous, it’s been happening every year, year after year,” he told BBC News.

“So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today’s rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year.”

The review that Mr Sukhdev leads, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Teeb), was initiated by Germany under its recent EU presidency, with the European Commission providing funding.

The first phase concluded in May… Here’s the rest.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “Losing more money in our forests than our banks?”

  1. lindsey says:

    The Green Collar Economy just became a NY Times best-seller! From a nice letter that Van Jones wrote to the Green For All supporters on his mailing list: “…we asked you to make history again, by making The Green Collar Economy the first bestseller on green issues by a black writer. With no publicity dollars and no national media platform, it was a complete long-shot. But we knew that if our grassroots network got the word out, millions of people across the country would know that we can build a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. And we did it!” Congratulations to Van and the green-collar jobs movement.