New report estimates rainforest's value to humanity

27th March 2009
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There have been plenty of attempts to try and value standing rainforest – you can tot up its total carbon content, you can value the ecosystem services it provides, you can look at its land value…

Now a new report by WWF has put a price on all the non-timber products of a hectare of rainforest, including honey, fibre, mushrooms, medicinal plants, erosion prevention, fire prevention, pollination, carbon storage, and recreational uses.

The researchers came up with a value of $426 per hectare, which compares with between $300 and $600 per hectare if the rainforest was levelled and converted to soy plantations, and between $51 and $148 if the land was used for cattle ranching.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2009

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