The RSPB has today [Wednesday 8 October, 2015] applauded an advert placed by the BBC in The Times revealing the true value of the UK’s natural resources.
Reacting to the advert Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, said: “We welcome the advert placed by the BBC in The Times newspaper today. The numbers only have to be an estimate to make it clear that our natural resources are drastically undervalued. Business leaders are increasingly recognising the importance of natural capital, but they’re also extremely valuable to people’s lives, health, happiness and wellbeing.”
Value to the year (£):
- Water = £45,925,000,000,000
- Trees = £10,125,000,000,000
- Coral = £6,187,500,000,000
- Fish = £171,250,000,000
- Plankton = £138,750,000,000
- Bees = £106,250,000,000
- Vultures = £1,634,615,285
- Beavers = £497,500,000
- Sea Otters = £62,500,000
A recent example was revealed by the Natural Capital Committee, who reported that 100,000 ha of wetland provides benefits 39 times greater than the cost, and 140,000 ha of peatland restoration provides over £500m in carbon benefits alone.
Martin added: “The economic case for, not just protecting nature, but also restoring it is overwhelming. There is an increased awareness that our future wellbeing and economic prosperity depends on protecting the environment – a message that pushes back on the myth that protecting the environment is a barrier to economic growth.
“While protecting and restoring nature is a responsibility we all share, the government has a critical role in providing the necessary resources to secure the vast array of public benefits which a healthy environment generates, but which markets cannot provide.”
The Government recently responded to the third Natural Capital Committee report, which set out recommendations to help reduce the problem of failing to account for the value of nature. The RSPB felt the Government’s response fell short of the changes that are needed to enable companies and others to more accurately reflect the true value of nature.
A healthy environment can deliver a host of public benefits including improved health and happiness, more effective planning, flood prevention, sustainable farming and climate change adaptation.