Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Pushpam Kumar and Tom Dedeurwaerdere
Chapter 29: Governance of the transition to a green economy - responding to the values of nature
There have been increasing trends in the degradation and loss of biodiversity, ecosystems, and the services they provide. In the last century alone, 35 per cent of mangroves, 40 per cent of forests, and 50 per cent of wetlands have been lost (TEEB, 2011). Around 60 per cent of ecosystem services are estimated to have been degraded in the last 50 years (MA, 2005). Species are becoming extinct 100 to 1000 times faster than in geological times (Pimm et al., 1995). The unsustainable use of the world's natural resources is threatening to destabilize the functioning of many ecosystems, which, in turn, undermines their productive capacities. For example, 69 per cent of the world's fisheries are thought to be fully or over-exploited (FAO, 2009), leading to the fisheries sector underperforming by around US$50 billion annually in terms of lost economic benefits (World Bank and FAO, 2009). Such continued loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, which in many cases is expected to be amplified by the effects of climate change, is likely to have detrimental effects on human well-being as the functioning of the world's ecosystems underpin society and the economy (TEEB, 2011). The past and on-going trends are expected to continue and the challenges we currently face are likely to escalate even further in the years to come.
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