Science in Action - Calculating the cost of conservation
Wildlife and natural environments provide priceless ecosystem services and value to our lives. But how much does it cost to protect and conserve the world’s biodiversity?
Calculating the cost of conservation The failure of the world's governments on the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity's target to halt the rate of biodiversity loss has been a serious and worrying disappointment to conservationists all over the world. One of the criticisms of the CBD was that it was very difficult to quantify what was needed to be done and how much it would cost. But now scientists led by Birdlife International and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have come up with some very important figures to help governments reach the new 2020 biodiversity targets. To establish and maintain the world’s protected areas and threatened species it is going to cost an estimated US$76.1 billion annually for the next 10 years. These are daunting numbers-but consider that the total funding required is less than 20 percent of yearly global spending on soft drinks. 2012 Nobel Prizes Each year since 1901, Nobel Prizes have been awarded for advances in Medicine or Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Economic Sciences, and Peace. This year the science awards have been particularly interesting. On Monday, the award for Medicine went to Sir John B. Gurdon and Professor Shinya Yamanaka 'for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent'. The Physics prize was awarded on Tuesday to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland 'for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems'. The Chemistry prize, awarded on Wednesday, was awarded to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka 'for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors'.