Protected nature sites give great value for money says new study

Protected nature sites give great value for money, says new study

The economic benefits of the Natura 2000 Network  

7 March 2013: The Environmental Pillar welcomes the findings of the EU study on the financial return to society of investments in the protection of sites that are designated as important for nature (Natura 2000 sites).
According to the study, the benefits that flow from Natura 2000 sites are of the order of €200 to €300 billion/year.
The study clearly demonstrates that Natura 2000 has a key role to play in protecting and enhancing our  natural capital. In addition to safeguarding nature’s intrinsic value, investing in Natura 2000 provides multiple benefits to society and the economy at the local, regional, national and EU level.
“Clearly then, investing in Natura 2000 makes good sense. The Irish government should take note as this is directly relevant to Ireland and to the Government’s green economy objectives of sustainable employment.  These sites can be a motor for the local and regional economy,” said Cilian Lohan a spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar.
“This study also underlines the need to protect all our living systems known as ecosystems, he continued. “The continuing success of our society and social systems depends fundamentally on the preservation of the overall productivity, health, and long term sustainability of the ecosystems and environmental services that underpin and supply many of the most basic components of human welfare – such as healthy soils and biodiversity, clean water and clean air.”

Notes:The Report, The Economic benefits of the Natura 2000 Network, can be downloaded from here: on data received from 25 Member States it is estimated that a minimum of 5.8 billion EUR per year will be needed for EU-27 to manage and restore the [Natura 2000] sites in the network.However, these costs are greatly outweighed by the benefits provided by the network. In addition to playing a crucial role in protecting Europe’s biodiversity, Natura 2000 sites provide a wide range of other ecosystem benefits and services to society. The economic value of these multiple benefits has been considered to be very significant, but until recently few studies have been undertaken to evaluate this in detail.