Response from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on TEEB report on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policymakers
Press release, 13 November 2009
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew says: "A change in values and in behaviour towards our natural capital is essential to stem the tide of ever increasing destruction of wild vegetation and massive biodiversity loss.
“The TEEB report is hugely significant in showing that this is inextricably linked with a sustainable worldwide economy and we warmly welcome the call upon policymakers to accelerate, scale-up and embed investments in the management and restoration of ecosystems.
“To improve human welfare, especially of impoverished people, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and its global partners are already contributing to plant-based solutions in conservation, seed banking, restoration and improved sustainable use of plant diversity consistent with the innovative thrust of the TEEB report. We are ready to do more. We also fully support the REDD and REDD+ initiatives and will contribute scientific expertise and enhanced practical outcomes following a positive outcome of discussions at Copenhagen."
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, through its Breathing Planet Programme, brings together 250 years of botanical expertise, unrivalled plant reference collections and international partnerships to deliver a conservation programme that supports the aims being expressed in the TEEB report "to accelerate, scale up and embed investments in the management and restoration of ecosystems".
- Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership has the restoration and sustainable use of natural capital at its heart. Our aim is to secure in safe storage 25% of the world's plant species by 2020, and to make their seeds available for use in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and habitat restoration. Plants will provide the answers to many of the big environmental challenges we face: food security, deforestation, water availability and climate change. The TEEB study explains this, suggests to policy makers how we can protect and enhance natural capital, and reaches the inescapable conclusion that we must invest in this resource now before we lose it altogether.
- RBG Kew's Vegetation Atlas of Madagascar is providing the baseline for Madagascar 's Climate Change Group to plan and refine conservation actions and protected area priorities in the context of climate change.
- RBG Kew's Africulture project in South Africa's Eastern Cape is just one example of Kew helping enable local people to better care for useful biodiversity under ever increasing threat. http://www.kew.org/science/directory/projects/AfricultureCentre.html
- RBG Kew's restoration programme in the Huarango forest of eastern Peru is a good example of achieving conservation goals through helping local communities to value their natural capital. http://www.kew.org/science/tropamerica/peru/
- RBG Kew's taxonomic expertise, knowledge of plant distribution and plant chemistry can help support farmers growing key commodity crops such as cocoa, coffee and citrus adapt to the challenges they face from climate change.
For further examples and case studies please contact the RBG Kew press office on +44 (0)208 332 5607 or email email@example.com
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