India,Brazil take lead in move to 'green' economic future

Written by: Mamatha
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London, Oct.21 (ANI): The governments of Brazil and India are keen to use the economic value of nature in policy-making.

So far, 27 governments from Africa and Latin America, and one from Asia, had approached the UNEP team for help in "greening" their economies.

According to a UN-backed analysis, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project unveiled at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting, says nature's services must be counted if they are to be valued.

Many of these are looking to translate the global TEEB findings into their national context, with Brazil and India in the vanguard.

India's Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, said: "We are committed to developing a framework for green national accounts that we can implement by 2015, and we are confident that the 'TEEB for India' study will be the key facilitator."

Braulio Dias, secretary for biodiversity and forests in Brazil's Environment Ministry, said his country was also looking to TEEB for a change of direction - in fact, without the pending election, it might be happening already.

"The tradition of many countries including Brazil has been one of utilising regulation - command and control instruments - and we need to work more on incentive measures and get the different sectors on board," he told BBC News.

He added: "The TEEB approach is very useful to make them understand the implications of loss of biodiversity, and also the return on investment in terms of biodiversity conservation. We have several bills before the national congress to establish a national mechanism for payment for ecosystem services. If they're approved, I think we will have a better possibility of implement some of those economic measures."

In an earlier analysis, TEEB calculated that the economic value of services being lost - including water purification, pollination of crops and climate regulation at 2-5 trillion dollars per year, with the poor hardest hit.

"Conventional methods of accounting such as GDP accounting will not capture them - so we need... to rapidly upgrade the system of national accounts," an official said.

"You cannot manage what you do not measure," he added. (ANI)

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