Never Mind the Environment - What About Our Jobs and Economy?
Posted on November 20, 2015
It seems to be quite a common view that “nature” is a “nice to have” once we have taken care of jobs, business and the economy in general. A bit of a luxury when we’ve got some loose change left over from taking care of progress…
The problem with that is it misses the point that nobody will be doing business/earning money without functioning, healthy ecosystems. You’d struggle to breathe, for example, if there isn’t enough photosynthesis happening.
The epic (and fantastic) project to restore rivers in five catchments in the south west of the UK (by Westcountry Rivers Trust) included work by independent financial analysts “NEF”. The costs of doing habitat improvement and restoration were smaller than the economic value that they added to the Westcountry region.
In cases where angling passport schemes benefited from habitat improvement — that showed the highest Return On Investment. A staggering £4.50 return on each £1 spent on environmental restoration. Of course, because you cannot track and measure everything — even that figure is likely to be an underestimate.
So feel free to point people who feel that nature is a luxury towards the full report from NEF here: http://wrt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WRT_FINAL-REPORT1.pdf and the WRT blog post summary here: http://wrt.org.uk/river-improvements-show-great-economic-and-environmental-returns/