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“Financial incentives for communities to accept a development can work well in the short term, but there have to be longer term benefits as well."

 

pa's david hatrick, technology and innovation expert 

Ecosystem services: A living wage for Mother Nature

Jane Bird

Financial Times

20 June 2012

 

PA’s David Hatrick, a technology and innovation expert, is quoted in an article in the Financial Times special report on sustainable business development. David explains why organisations including the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, and the WWF are supporting “ecosystem services”, an attempt to put a financial value on the benefits people receive from nature.

David talks about why it makes good business sense for businesses to care for a resource they are dependent on.

David says that working out the environmental cost of a product or service is difficult and requires a long term perspective. Investors and local communities need to think ahead: “Financial incentives for communities to accept a development can work well in the short term, but there have to be longer term benefits as well.”

David goes on to comment that investors are likely to start asking for more ecosystem services information before deciding to invest: “At present, these types of measurement are more about efficiency and carbon footprint; they don’t feature ecosystems yet, but in a few years this might start to happen.”

David concludes by drawing a comparison to the changing attitude towards carbon footprint, which ten years ago nobody was focused on: “It wasn’t seen as important, but it is now and there’s a whole industry that will measure it. The same thing needs to happen in ecosystem measurement.”

You can read the article in full here


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