Friends of the Earth responds to UK scientists putting a price on the value of nature to the UK economy and to UK well-being

June 2nd, 2011 by Friends of the Earth

A groundbreaking study by scientists that shows nature is worth billions of pounds Sterling to the UK economy has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth as “essential summer reading for all MPs and economists”.

The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA), published by Defra on Thursday 2 June 2011, is the first ever UK study into the country’s economic dependence on nature.

The report shows we depend on a thriving natural environment for things we can take for granted in everyday life – from the ongoing safe and secure food and water supplies to enjoyable places to visit.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Paul de Zylva said “this study provides groundbreaking evidence of the UK’s dependence on nature for our economy, good health and social wellbeing.

“For too long we’ve underestimated the economic benefits that a thriving environment brings, from holiday destinations to the food we buy.

“Putting a price on nature shows how much money we stand to lose by trashing our environment – but it is no substitute for bold political action to protect it at home and abroad.

“Tackling climate change and damage to wildlife are the key to a healthy and wealthy future – this study is essential summer reading for all MPs and economists.”

The report recognises that because the UK’s continuing economic growth is increasingly reliant on the ‘services of overseas ecosystems’, the UK must act to protect overseas environments for its own self interest.

Friends of the Earth’s is calling for changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to support small-scale, planet friendly farming. This will boost UK farming and reduce our reliance on imported animal feed from South America, where soy production is destroying rainforests.

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