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#1598 new bug

Nature's true value overlooked in decision making

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Nature's true value overlooked in decision making

Understanding the true value of nature is key to addressing the global biodiversity crisis, according to a new assessment by leading scientists.

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Halting the loss of nature requires a shift away from prioritising short-term material gains, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) says in a landmark report.

The study offers insights into the many different values of nature and how to incorporate these into decision-making.

A summary was approved on Saturday by 139 countries in Bonn, Germany.

"Shifting decision-making towards the multiple values of nature is a really important part of the system-wide transformative change needed to address the current global biodiversity crisis," said co-chair, Prof Patricia Balvanera.

"This entails redefining 'development' and 'good quality of life' and recognising the multiple ways people relate to each other and to the natural world."

The IPBES is often referred to as conservation scientists' equivalent of the IPCC - the key UN group of climate scientists. It provides policy makers with scientific assessments relating to the planet's diversity of fauna and flora, and the contributions they make to people.

"The way nature is valued in political and economic decision making is both a key driver of the loss of biodiversity and a vital opportunity to address it," the 82 scientists said in a report drawing on more than 1,000 scientific studies looking at the valuation of nature.

Commenting, Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said: "This report makes it clear that we must place science-based valuation of nature at the heart of economic decision making."

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