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Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature

Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature - Economic...

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DOI: 10.1126/science.1073947 , 950 (2002); 297 Science et al. Andrew Balmford, Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature www.sciencemag.org (this information is current as of September 17, 2009 ): The following resources related to this article are available online at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/297/5583/950 version of this article at: including high-resolution figures, can be found in the online Updated information and services, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/297/5583/950/DC1 can be found at: Supporting Online Material found at: can be related to this article A list of selected additional articles on the Science Web sites http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/297/5583/950#related-content http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/297/5583/950#otherarticles , 4 of which can be accessed for free: cites 9 articles This article 211 article(s) on the ISI Web of Science. cited by This article has been http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/297/5583/950#otherarticles 19 articles hosted by HighWire Press; see: cited by This article has been http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/collection/ecology Ecology : subject collections This article appears in the following http://www.sciencemag.org/about/permissions.dtl in whole or in part can be found at: this article permission to reproduce of this article or about obtaining reprints Information about obtaining registered trademark of AAAS. is a Science 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved. The title Copyright American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005. (print ISSN 0036-8075; online ISSN 1095-9203) is published weekly, except the last week in December, by the Science on September 17, 2009 www.sciencemag.org Downloaded from
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R E V I E W : E C O L O G Y Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature Andrew Balmford, 1 * Aaron Bruner, 2 Philip Cooper, 3 Robert Costanza, 4 Stephen Farber, 5 Rhys E. Green, 1,6 Martin Jenkins, 7 Paul Jefferiss, 6 Valma Jessamy, 3 Joah Madden, 1 Kat Munro, 1 Norman Myers, 8 Shahid Naeem, 9 Jouni Paavola, 3 Matthew Rayment, 6 Sergio Rosendo, 3 Joan Roughgarden, 10 Kate Trumper, 1 R. Kerry Turner 3 On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it is timely to assess progress over the 10 years since its predecessor in Rio de Janeiro. Loss and degradation of remaining natural habitats has continued largely unabated. However, evidence has been accumulating that such systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest exceed those obtained from continued habitat conversion. We estimate that the overall benefit:cost ratio of an effective global program for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1. H umans benefit from wild nature ( 1 ) in very many ways: aesthetically and cul- turally; via the provision of ecological services such as climate regulation, soil forma- tion, and nutrient cycling; and from the direct harvest of wild species for food, fuel, fibers, and pharmaceuticals ( 2 ). In the face of increas- ing human pressures on the environment, these benefits should act as powerful incentives to
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