Researchers, public officials and NGOs often ask, “Can we put a price on forests?”. The question may sound absurd or even cynical, but as an expert in environmental-conservation practices, I believe that measuring biodiversity value could help us better preserve it. Evaluating the “price” of a forest, a lake or a hill for a village, a city or even a country would ensure better conservation practices.
This is why we developed the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA). The project is designed to support global environmental governance by allowing local NGOs to quantify – arguably for the first time ever – the real economic impact or advantages of maintaining an ecosystem for biodiversity conservation.
Thousands of local NGOs, agencies, government bodies or even private citizens can use the tool to measure the impact of environment conservation and help protect the environment. The data collected would improve the information available and could help produce better public policies. At the very least, public authorities could not deny or minimise the importance of protecting biodiversity. MORE
Header image: Konik ponies Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire. The UK National Trust used TESSA to calculate that each hectare of the fen was worth US$200 more per year as wetland than as farmland. Credit: Gailhampshire/Flickr, CC BY.