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New U.N. Body To Put Value On Planet

July 31, 2010
"It has major implications for the economic benefit of conserving biodiversity,"
- Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program

The world relies on a range of services nature provides -- water filtration by forests, pollination by bees and a supply of wild plant genes for new food crops or medicines. If nature charged for these, how much would it cost?

Most such values are excluded from measures of national economies and from prices and markets which would force businesses and governments to recognize them, and the result has been a bias toward development over conservation.

U.N. states have proposed a new body, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), to advise on valuing nature and conservation targets.

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