UN report makes economic case for conserving coral reefs and mangroves

The price of conserving coral reefs and mangroves is small when compared to the cost that will be incurred if they are destroyed, a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) argues.Entitled In the Front Line: Shoreline Protection and other Ecosystem Services from Mangroves and Coral Reefs, the report estimates the value of coral reefs at $100,000 to $600,000 per square kilometer a year. Meanwhile the estimated price to conserve them, by managing a marine-protected area, totals just $775 square kilometers per annum.Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, voiced hope that the study’s financial facts would spur a radical change in the behaviour of governments officials, business executives and individuals.It should prompt them to “think twice about the pollution, climate change, insensitive development and other damaging practices that are rapidly undermining the economic basis for so many coastal communities worldwide,” he said.Produced by UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre in collaboration with the International Coral Reef Action Network and the World Conservation Union, the report was will be presented to a special session of UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, scheduled to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in early February. read more

Read More »