Monday, September 26, 2011

Losing ecosystems will be costly

By: Norma Connolly |
Caymanian Compass
15 September, 2011

Putting an economic value on the Cayman Islands’ ecosystem and its marine wildlife could be the argument that convinces the government and opponents to conservation of the importance of preserving the environment, attendees of a public meeting on marine parks heard this week.

John Turner of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences, who is working with the Department of Environment on a study of the Cayman Islands’ marine parks, said a study of the value of the world’s ecosystems in 1997 showed they were worth US$33 trillion per year, almost double the whole world’s annual gross domestic product.

He said a rough calculation of the value of single stingray locally was US$600,000 per year and that coral reefs were valued at about US$6,000 per hectare per year.

He was responding to a suggestion from audience member Suzanne Bothwell, who said if people understood the economic impact of losing the local marine ecosystem, they would more fully support conservation measures. Read more...