Biodiversity loss costs six percent of world income: report

BERLIN, May 17, 2008 (AFP) – The destruction of flora and fauna is costing the world two trillion euros (3.1 trillion dollars) a year, or six percent of its overall gross national product, according to a report trailed by German news weekly Der Spiegel. The European Union and German environment ministry-led research, entitled “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity,” will be presented on Monday at the ninth conference of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn.

In its edition out Monday, Der Spiegel will present extracts from the paper, with the study’s lead author, Pavan Sukhdev, a senior figure with Deutsche Bank in India, writing that “the world’s poor bear the brunt of the cost.”

Der Spiegel also says that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will announce a sharp increase in German funding to combat deforestation in line with Norway, which ploughs 500 million dollars annually into forest retention.

Deforestation — a huge factor in species loss and global carbon emissions contributing to climate change — is a central theme of this year’s conference in Bonn, formerly the capital of West German.

One in four mammal species, one in eight among birds, a third of amphibian creatures and 70 percent of all plant life made the