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Economy should serve ecology

The world celebrates our biological diversity on 22 May each year, but do we truly appreciate its value?

In its latest report on ecosystem services, CIWEM champions the fundamental role of biodiversity and ecosystems to human survival and well-being.

Water and biodiversity, the theme of the 2013 United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated 22 May each year, speaks to the important role of biodiversity and ecosystems in providing for water security and sustainable development. With the release of its new report, From microbes to mountains: understanding and debating the role of ecosystem services in environmental management – Volume 2, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) calls attention to the essential goods and services that our biodiversity and ecosystems provide for our economic, social, mental and cultural well-being.

CIWEM’s new report asks governments worldwide to carry out an independent assessment of the moral and ethical implications of placing a monetary value on ecosystem services. Calling for a move towards the economy serving ecology rather than the ecology serving the economy, CIWEM asks for a commitment to invest in the future health of the environment for societal benefit, and a move away from unsustainable GDP-centric and perpetual economic growth models.

Justin Taberham, CIWEM’s Director of Policy, says:

“Our world’s rich biodiversity is fundamental to our lives and livelihoods. A good level of understanding across society is vital when making decisions on the importance of services the natural world provides – without this, a truly representative value cannot be ascribed. That’s why we’re asking governments to get to work; at the end of the day, the economy should serve the ecology that sustains us all.”


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