Our planet’s biodiversity could be saved from serious devastation for only US$80 billion
While US$80 billion a year is obviously a lot of money, many people argue that it is a very good deal in return for conserving the enormous wealth of flora and fauna on Earth, much of which already has its own intrinsic economic value on a sustainable and theoretically endless basis.
The claim was made in a new study – recently published in the journal “Science” – that around US$4 billion annually would be required for targeted conservation initiatives and a further US$76 billion needed every year for the ongoing costs of and managing existing and newly created protected areas.
These figures shrink beyond recognition when compared to estimates of the total value of ecosystem services (things like pollination, soil health, water filtration, air purification etc.) lost annually to environmental destruction. This loss was calculated at between US$2.6 and US$6 trillion a year by a recent study.
The US$80 billion a year also palls in comparison to the money – over US$400 billion – spent globally on soft drinks every year.
We currently spend around US$5 billion a year on global conservation.