BRUSSELS, Nov. 16 (UPI) — An exhaustive report released by the European Union says investing in environmental protection will pay off for mankind far more than commercial exploitation.
The 300-page survey concluded that current uses of land and sea resources generally ignore the role the overall health of the planet plays in supplying livelihoods to its inhabitants.
“Nature provides us with clean air, fresh water, food, materials and medicines. It helps regulate our climate and protects us from disaster,” EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said at the unveiling of the survey Friday. “We tend to take them for granted but we can not survive without them.”
The EUobserver said Monday that the report also points to the economic benefits of protecting ecosystems and watershed, which come in the form of more productive fisheries, lower public works expenses and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The EUobserver said Dimas urged negotiators at next month’s climate summit in Denmark to at least come up with an agreement to preserve tropical rainforests. He said deforestation was a source of some 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International