For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Valuing nature, changing economics
It's the central idea of The Economics of Ecosytems and Biodiversity (Teeb) project, which, among other things, calculated a few years back that degradation of the world's forests is costing the global economy $2-5 trillion each year, with the brunt falling on the poor who live closest to tropical forests.

At the last meeting of the UN biodiversity convention 18 months ago, governments pledged to look at including natural capital accounts in their national systems; and it's set to be a major theme of the forthcoming Rio+20 summit.

Speaking on Tuesday evening in London at a meeting organised by the Globe International group of legislators, UK MP Barry Gardiner gave a rather pithy example of how this can work.

While environment minister a few years back, he recounted, he'd signed a grant for 6m for research on fungal disease in bees.

Treasury officials had objected, arguing that "you could build a hospital for that".

However, the objections disappeared after he pointed out that the decline in the UK's bee population was costing the economy about 200m a year, with worse to follow unless the trend was arrested.

Over the years, academics have gathered countless examples from around the world of this sort of equation, from forests in the Amazon (protecting soil, purifying water), mangroves (fish nurseries, flood protection), glaciers (water regulation), peat (carbon storage, biodiversity) and many, many more.

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has come to the table this week with a weighty analysis of the oceans.

They've looked at a number of different ways in which climate change is set to impact economies through its effects on the oceans, from sea level rise to storm surges to perturbation of fish species.

Their overall conclusion is that by the end of the century, the difference between a "business-as-usual" trajectory for carbon emissions and a path of restraint that keeps the global average temperature rise below 2C is about $2 trillion per year.

As they point out, this is necessarily a simplification of the true picture facing the oceans because there are many other factors impacting them as well, including plastic pollution, acidification, hypoxia stimulated primarily by run-off from agricultural land, over-fishing and so on.

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