Biodiversity worth Euro 2.6bn to Ireland

A new study investigating the social and economic aspects of biodiversity in Ireland has estimated it brings in billions of Euros every year.

The report was announced by the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, and was produced by a consortium led by Dr Craig Bullock of Optimize Consulting.

It considered a number of key sectors including agriculture, forestry, infrastructure development, human health and climate change.

The authors estimated that biodiversity in Ireland has a value of at least Euro 2.6bn per year.

This figure was reached by drawing a comparison between ecosystems provided by biodiversity and the cost of implementing protection policies.

Mr Gormley said that the report presented a compelling case for strengthening policies to protect biodiversity and explained that his department would prepare a revised Biodiversity Strategy for Ireland during 2008.

"Our biodiversity now faces increased threats from climate change and other threats such as the introduction of non-native invasive species. We must develop and implement appropriate policies to meet this challenge," he added.

The Rural Environmental Protection Scheme covers biodiversity in Ireland

It costs Euro 280m per year but only a fraction of this is relevant to biodiversity as it supplies various other objectives.



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