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UNEP-Sponsored Project Finds Ecosystem Preservation Plays Key Role in Countering Climate Change

© TEEB2 September 2009: Investing in the restoration and maintenance of the Earth's ecosystems can play a key role in countering climate change and climate-proofing vulnerable economies, says a new climate issues update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project.

The issues update was launched by TEEB study leader Pavan Sukhdev, with German Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, European Commission Director-General for Environment Karl Falkenberg; and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The update indicates that ecosystems represent one of the biggest untapped allies against climate change, and underlines the need for an agreement on funding for forests and for addressing damage caused by rising temperatures and ocean acidification to coral reefs.

Investing in ecosystem-based measures such as financing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) could assist in combating climate change and also be a key anti-poverty and adaptation measure. Coral reefs, on the other hand, have a key role to play in coastal defense against a predicted rise in storm surges and other extreme weather events.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) hosts the TEEB project, which was launched by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers during their 2007 meeting in Potsdam, Germany, to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss. [UNEP press release][TEEB website]