Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources - Research Article from Information Plus Reference Series

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The Economic Value of the World's Ecosystems—How Much Is Nature Worth?

Nature performs valuable, practical, measurable functions, without which the human economy could not exist. Many experts contend that, as human activity gradually consumes or destroys this natural capital, the monetary value of the ecosystem to the economy must be calculated and considered. Thirteen economists, ecologists, and geographers studied 16 different biomes (ecological areas such as lakes, urban areas, and grasslands) to estimate the economic value of 17 ecosystem services. To do this they assigned dollar values to services performed by nature that are considered necessary to the human economy. Their report, published in the journal Nature (May 1997), estimated that ecosystems perform at least $33 trillion worth of services annually. Marine systems contribute about 63 percent of the value, mainly from coastal systems ($10.6 trillion). Terrestrial systems account for 37 percent of the value, mainly from forests ($4.7 trillion...

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This section contains 13,843 words
(approx. 47 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources Encyclopedia Article
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Depletion and Conservation of Natural Resources from Information Plus Reference Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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