Economic benefits of nature assessed

Natural forests can yield up to 30% greater economic benefits to society than converting the land to agriculture, according to a review of ecosystem services by the UK environment ministry. The report summarises research quantifying the economic services provided by wetlands, forests and "agro-ecosystems" through functions such as water purification, flood management and carbon dioxide retention. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the value of ecosystem services to society - a field enjoying growing attention (EED 18/04/05). See Defra ecosystem services review.

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