Box 1.2 Contribution of ecosystem goods and services to national economies

Environmental income is important not only to the poor, but to national economies as well, although it is often overlooked in official statistics. The wildlife tourism industry is among the most important and rapidly growing sectors of the international tourism industry. In Kenya, wildlife tourism presently brings in approximately US$200 million every year, and is the country’s largest earner of foreign currency. Each year in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, tourism raises as much as $60 million annually, and provides income for an estimated 80% of the islands’ residents. The harvest of wild species can also make major contributions to national economies. Exports of medicinal plants are worthUS$8.6 million annually to Nepal, where an estimated 1,500 species are used in traditional medicines. Among industrialized nations, Iceland’s marine fisheries serve as a model for responsible management and, in 2003, marine products represented over 60% of the country’s exported goods, by value. Increasingly, the demand for goods produced from sustainably managed ecosystems are creating new economic opportunities. Sales of certified organic coffee beans, for instance, which generally come from coffee plants grown under more traditional, tree-shaded and biodiversity-friendly conditions, are currently growing faster than sales of any other specialty coffee.

Source & © CBD  Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 (2006),
Chapter 1:The Essential role of Biodiversity, p.19

Related publication:
Biodiversity (CBD) homeBiodiversity A Global Outlook
Other Figures & Tables on this publication:

Table 3.1 Strategic Plan scorecard

Table 4.1 Prospects for achieving the targets of the framework for assessing progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target

Table 2.1 Headline indicators for assessing progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target †

Figure 1.1 Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services, and drivers of change

Figure 2.2 Locations reported by various studies as undergoing high rates of change in forest cover in the past few decades

Figure 2.8 Degree of protection of terrestrial ecoregions and large marine ecosystems (all IUCN Protected Areas Management Categories combined)

Figure 2.9 Frequency distribution of terrestrial ecoregions by percentage surface area under protection

Figure 2.11 Change the Marine Trophic Index (early 1950s to the present)

Figure 2.12 Impact classification based on river channel fragmentation and water flow regulation by dams on 292 of the world’s large river systems

Figure 2.13 Estimates of forest fragmentation due to anthropogenic causes

Figure 2.14 Status and trends in biological oxygen demand (BOD) of major rivers in five regions (1980-2005)

Figure 2.16 Estimated total reactive nitrogen deposition from the atmosphere (wet and dry) (early 1990s)

Figure 2.17 Number of alien species recorded in the Nordic terrestrial, freshwater and marine environment

Figure 2.19 Intensity of ecological footprint

Figure 4.1 Main direct drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystems

Box 3.3 Principles, guidelines and other tools developed under the Convention

Box 1.1 The role of biodiversity in mitigating the impacts of natural disasters

Box 1.2 Contribution of ecosystem goods and services to national economies

Box 1.3 Millennium Development Goals

Box 2.1 Headline indicators for assessing progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target

Box 3.1 The Ecosystem Approach

Box 3.2 Programmes of work of the Convention

Box 3.4 The biodiversity-related conventions

Box 3.5 The business case for biodiversity

Box 4.1Summary of the main findings on biodiversity of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Box 4.2 Policy options for the 2010 Biodiversity Target and beyond

Box 4.3 Elements of a strategy to reduce biodiversity loss

Box 5.1 Checklist of key actions for 2010

Figure 1.2 Economic benefits under alternative management practices

Figure 2.1 Annual net change in forest area by region (1990–2005)

Figure 2.3 Change in live coral cover across the Caribbean basin (1977-2002)

Figure 2.4 The Living Planet Index: trends in populations of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species worldwide

Figure 2.5 Trends in European common birds in farmland and forest habitats

Figure 2.6 Red List Index for birds in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, and in forest and shrubland/grassland habitats (1988-2004)

Figure 2.7 Trends in terrestrial surface under protected areas

Figure 2.10 Trends in mean trophic levels of fisheries landings (1950-2000)

Figure 2.15 Global trends in the creation of reactive nitrogen on Earth by human activity

Figure 2.18 Global Ecological Footprint

Figure 2.20 Aid activities targeting CBD objectives from 16 developed countries (1998-2003)

Figure 3.1 Participation in Convention processes

Figure 4.2 Links between food, energy and biodiversity loss

Figure 4.4 Outcomes for hunger reduction and biodiversity loss under the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios.