Analysis on biodiversity and economy – University of Copenhagen

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Conservation of the Biodiversity in Denmark -An Analysis of Effort and Costs

An increased effort in the forests is cheap and preserves most species. This is one of the main conclusions in a working paper on how to halt the decline of biodiversity in Denmark.

The Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, together with the Danish Economic Councils, has analyzed the efforts and costs of preserving biodiversity in Denmark. The recommendations feed directly into the Wise Men report on Economy and Environment 2012.

The working paper ‘Conservation of the Biodiversity in Denmark -An Analysis of Effort and Costs’ investigates the effort needed to conserve Danish biodiversity, evaluates which measures to implement and how to prioritize them and estimates the economic cost of a coherent national effort.

Information on almost 900 species, their preferred habitats and the distribution of these have been included in the analysis of the efficiency and social cost of specific measures to conserve biodiversity. This made it possible to identify the sets – or networks – of areas in Denmark, to conserve all 900 species most efficiently.

Forest conservation is cheap and efficient

The analyses show that the effort needed to conserve the species will require an area of 126,000 ha of forest and unforested natural areas such as grassland, heathland and meadows. The economic cost of nationwide measures judged to preserve the vast majority of these species amounts to 845 million DKK (115 million €) per year. Of this, the proposed forest measures account for only 115 million DKK per year, although they will preserve more than half of the species, as the majority of Danish species depend on forests.

Based on the analytical results, it is recommended to focus on and strongly increase the biodiversity conservation effort in Danish forests, especially through the conversion of production forest into more natural forest without commercial forestry. The management actions in unforested natural areas should become much more focused on biodiversity than previously.

Denmark has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims at halting the loss of biodiversity no later than 2020.

For further information contact Anders Højgård Petersen
Phone: 3532 1335