Britain puts a cash value on nature

Following ground breaking research scientists have been able to put a price on value of nature in Britain. Living in harmony with a view of green space costs nearly £300 per year says a report from the UK’s National Ecosystem Assessment. The wetlands, coasts and rivers in the UK contribute over £1.3bn of amenity value each year to the nation and £1.5bn to the nation’s quality of water from the interior wetlands.

An attempt of quantifying was for the first time done to see the economic benefits the country’s natural world provides when they have always been looked at as burdensome to the country. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the report backs the case that nature needs protecting because the benefits to wellbeing, health and the enjoyment one gets from nature have not always been valued or fully appreciated.

The UK NEA Defra says tend to only focus on what is the market value of a resource that can be sold or used like crops, fisheries and timber and that has led to some of the ecosystems and habitats declining through over-exploitation, land conversion and pollution.

The natural world is vitally important for our existence and provides us the essentials like water, food and clean air but other health and cultural benefits that are not fully appreciated because they are free says Caroline Spelman Environment Secretary.

The Assessment is a vital step ahead in understanding what the true value of nature is and how to maintain the benefits is gives us. She wants her generation to leave the natural wonders of the environment in a better way than in which they were received.

There is an urgent necessity to manage our ecosystems better as well as the natural resources provided by them said Bob Watson Professor and chief scientist at Defra. But before now there was not clear cut way of putting a value on the full range benefits provided by them beyond what could be bought and sold. But this is a groundbreaking approach to measure the full value of these services and how they may be affected down the road.