Putting a value on our Oceans

The ocean’s wealth rivals those of the world’s leading economies, but its resources are rapidly eroding, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report. The analysis, Reviving the Ocean Economy: The Case for Action, conservatively estimates the value of key ocean assets to be at least $24 trillion. If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank as the seventh largest, with an annual value of goods and services of $2.5 trillion.The report, produced in association with The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), combines scientific evidence of environmental degradation with an economic case for urgent conservation action. Using an innovative economic analysis, the ocean’s value is quantified based on assessments of goods and services ranging from fisheries to coastal storm protection, resulting in an overall asset value and an annual dividend output (comparable to a GDP).

Russia to create new national parks and reserves nearly size of Switzerland

Polar bears, walruses, sea otters, and other endangered species are all set to benefit from a Russian decision to boost its national protected areas to nearly 3 percent of its territory by 2020, a move which helps the country to meet its international obligations to protect biodiversity. The Russian government’s decision establishes 9 new nature reserves and 13 national parks covering a total area of over 3.8 million ha by 2020. Russia is also introducing marine buffer zones of over 1 million ha.

Bonn climate talks hold up hope of turning trust into traction in Mexico

Bonn, Germany – WWF says negotiators at UN climate talks in Bonn have missed some important goals, while showing a much stronger performance than in previous rounds. In WWF’s view, progress in Bonn was mainly a result of improved team spirit among negotiators, with countries from North and South teaming up in unusual coalitions, creating fresh dynamics and space for solutions and compromise.