Insects worth $57 billion to US economy
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 1, 2006
A new study says insects are worth at least $57 billion to the American economy.
Losey and Vaughan say their assessment is conservative since it accounts for only a fraction of all the services provided by insects and warn that the observed decline in native insect populations could have a detrimental economic impact The authors argue that estimate "implies that an annual investment of tens of billions of dollars would be justified to maintain service-providing insects, and urge that conservation funding pay specific attention to insects and the role they play in ecosystems."
Image by R. Butler
How much are ecosystems worth?
For a long time, preserving natural spaces was considered to be a favor to the environment without a true, measurable benefit to businesses, industrial production and productivity. In recent years however, scientists are increasingly producing substantial evidence to support the notion that the natural environment supplies a diverse range of renewable economic benefits beyond timber and fish. These benefits are termed "ecological services" and certain types of ecosystems provide such valuable functions as water treatment, pollination and sediment capture, simply by remaining intact.
Carbon in Canada's boreal forest worth $3.7 trillion-Ecosystem services estimated at $93 billion per year
Carbon stored in Canada's boreal forests and peatlands is worth $3.7 trillion according to research by the Pembina Institute for the Canadian Boreal Initiative. The two-year study puts the value of ecosystem services like water filtration, pest-control services, and carbon storage at $93 billion -- roughly 2.5 times greater than the net market value of forestry, hydroelectric, mining, and oil and gas extraction in Canada's Boreal region.
This article used quotes from a BioScience news release.