Biodiversity conferences mulls putting a price on nature

Times Live 16 October 2012.

A strong consensus is emerging that putting a price on nature may be the only way to get people to prevent Earth’s bounty being squandered, sometimes to extinction.

Should European farmers pay for pollination provided by bees? Should city dwellers in Brazil pay for the abundant rain generated over the Amazonian forest? And if mangroves are a shield against tsunamis, shouldn’t seaside resorts in Thailand be paying for them?

These are the kinds of questions being asked at the world’s top biodiversity conference in India, where policymakers are desperately seeking ways to preserve the world’s dwindling plant and animal resources.

Less clear, though, is how this can be achieved…

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