Your excellency, Dear Sir / Madam,

We have just published our tenth set of papers, this time focused on Biodiversity.
 
In a series of new studies for the Copenhagen Consensus Center, Economists Anil Markandya, Luke Brander and Alistair McVittie argue that reducing the loss of coral reefs, wetlands and forests are worthwhile targets for the UN’s development agenda, each providing benefits to society greater than the costs of conservation.
 
What's the smartest target?
 
As reported in Huffington Post, stemming the loss of coral reefs by 50% will return at least $24 for every dollar spent. Coral reefs act as fishery hatcheries and fishing resources while storing abundant numbers of species. At the same time, coral reefs have large value for tourism. The costs of stemming coral reef loss are about $3 billion per year, but the total benefits likely run to at least $72 billion, producing the number of $24 dollars back for every dollar invested.

Biodiversity Targets Benefit For Every Dollar Spent
By 2030, stem the loss of coral reefs by 50% >$24
Reduce global forest loss by at least 50% $10
Reduce wetlands losses by 50% $10
By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification. $7
By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area–based conservation measures and integrated into the wider lands. $0.85

Interestingly, establishing environmental protected areas is not an effective way to go about preserving forests. Why? Because the costs of establishing and administering national parks are very high and the opportunity cost of land is enormous.
 
You can read the all the reports at www.post2015consensus.com/biodiversity

Here, Copenhagen Consensus Center has just released its latest research on Biodiversity targets for the Post-2015 development agenda. Anil Markandya, Scientific Director at Basque Centre for Climate Change writes the main report, peer-reviewed in perspective papers by Luke Brander, environmental economist affiliated to VU University Amsterdam and to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and by Alistair McVittie, Environmental Economist at Scotland’s Rural College. Additionally, experts from the International Institute for Environment and Development present a viewpoint paper concerning Markandya’s analysis.
 
Best regards,
 
Bjorn Lomborg
PhD and Adjunct Professor
President of Copenhagen Consensus Center

PS. The Post-2015 Consensus  project brings together 62 teams of economists with NGOs, international agencies and businesses to identify the targets with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio for the UN's post-2015 development goals.  If you have questions about the project, send an email to Research Project Manager Brad Wong by replying to this email.
Each day on twitter we will be releasing the benefit-cost evaluation of a current UN OWG post-2015 target. Follow us to see how all 169 current targets rate according to leading economists.
Each day on twitter we will be releasing the benefit-cost evaluation of a current UN OWG post-2015 target. Follow us to see how all 169 current targets rate according to leading economists.
In a hurry?
Download the one page PDF summary here.


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