The loss of nature will cost us dearly if nothing is done by 2050 | WWF

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The loss of nature will cost us dearly if nothing is done by 2050

​A WWF report was released on Wednesday in partnership with the Global Trade Analysis Project at Purdue University, and the Natural Capital Project, co-founded by the University of Minnesota.

The report reveals for the first time the economic cost of nature's decline for 140 countries and identifies the countries whose economies will be hardest affected by 2050. According to “Global Futures” report, Madagascar will lose 4.2% of its gross domestic product by 2050 if nature continues to degrade at the same rate as it does now.

Scientists used scenarios that relate ecosystem services to economic models to model their projections. They used six ecosystem services provided by nature: pollination of crops, protection of coasts from flooding and erosion, supply of water, timber production, marine fisheries and carbon storage. According to the report, coastal erosion, loss of species and the decline of natural resources (forests, marine resources, etc.) would cost the world $479 billion per year.

Degraded nature cannot provide the same services. Coral reefs and mangroves will no longer be able to stop coastal erosion as they should. This will weaken coastal infrastructure, fishing and agricultural areas.
A more degraded nature will also be much more fragile in the face of climatic hazards. For Madagascar, the decrease in the current forest cover would cause a loss of 1.31% of our GDP by 2050. If deforestation further reduces the surface area of the remaining forests, they will store less carbon, protect us less from the effects of climate change, retain less soil and attract less rainfall ... All this will have an impact on the species of insects that pollinate flowers and the availability of water resources for farmers. As a result, there will be an increase in commodity and food prices. Scientists have estimated the increase in world prices for wood (+8%), cotton (+6%), oilseeds (+4%) and fruits and vegetables (+3%).

Far from being simply alarmist, the "Global Futures" report puts forward concrete and realistic solutions. Better land-use management to avoid destroying the natural areas that still exist is a priority. With sustainable management that allows natural environments to continue to provide the services we need, the whole planet would benefit! According to the report, with a policy and actions oriented towards the conservation of our resources, Malagasy forests can increase our GDP by +1.23% by 2050.

According to Tiana Ramahaleo, Conservation Director of WWF Madagascar, "It is urgent that we preserve the remaining nature that is the greatest pride of Madagascar. We have the opportunity in 2020 to open a new chapter in greening Madagascar and saving our biodiversity. WWF calls for clear and lasting commitments from all of us to preserve our biodiversity for future generations, to deliver on our climate commitments and to achieve the sustainable development goals for Madagascar."

Click on this link to see the details of the Global Futures report.