What is Nature Worth?

This video from the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment is like a conservationist's version of the "Right Here, Right Now" video about social media (although the music isn't as good). It has crisp design, good infographics, and makes a very important point: that nature has massive, unappreciated economic value.

I'm not saying that money should be the main reason for environmental protection; I value nature for purely aesthetic and scientific reasons, over and above economics (although aesthetics and science both have economic value - realized through tourism and R&D). But profit margins are compelling: if you can show that saving forests and wetlands can actually cost us less in the long run than destroying them, it can help build a consensus to enact more constructive environmental policies.

Consider sharing this video with your networks - and the next time someone suggests conservation is a luxury we can't afford, try explaining the concept of ecosystem services.

"Big Question: What Is Nature Worth?" is part of Momentum magazine's biodiversity issue and was inspired by the Natural Capital Project - a partnership between Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Minnesota and the World Wildlife Fund.

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