World Bank to help India with ecosystem valuation

Friday, 29 October 2010, 04:59 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Washington: World Bank will help developing countries, including India, to prepare national accounting systems that also reflect the economic benefits reaped from ecosystems such as forests and wetlands.

Apart from India and Colombia, eight other countries would participate in the first phase of the new initiative.

World Bank today said the new global partnership would give developing countries the tools needed to integrate the economic benefits that ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs provide, into national accounting systems.

"National accounts need to reflect the vital carbon storage services that forests provide and the coastal protection values that come from coral reefs and mangroves.

"Through this new partnership, we plan to pilot ways to integrate ecosystem valuation into national accounts and then scale up what works for countries around the world," World Bank Group President Robert B Zoellick said in a statement.

The feasibility studies to identify priority ecosystems would soon begin in India and Colombia. The partnership was launched at the meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan.

Zoellick also pointed out that the alarming loss of biological diversity worldwide could be partly attributed to the lack of proper value being placed on ecosystems and the services provided by them.

In the five-year pilot period, the initiative would focus on demonstrating how countries can quantify the value of ecosystems and their services in terms of income and asset value, among others.

Another priority would be to develop "ways to incorporate these values into planning and design of specific policies linking wealth and economic growth".
Source: PTI
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