Pollination worth 153 billion Euros per year

22 09 2008

Another one from Mongabay.com. Certainly the overwhelming economic benefits from maintaining biodiversity (see also related posts here, here and here) must be starting to sink in. As an eternal pessimist, I doubt it.

Pollination services provided by insects are worth $216 billion/€153 billion a year reports a new study published in Ecological Economics [Gallai et al. 2008. Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline. Ecological Economics]. The figure represents about 9.5 % of the total value of world agricultural food production.

The fruit and vegetable sectors see the largest benefit $71/€50 billion each from pollination services, followed by oilseed crops $55/€39 billion. Bees play the most significant role in the pollination of food crops.

The research did not account for the production of crops for livestock consumption, biofuels, or ornamental flowers. It also omitted the value of pollination of wild plants. As such, the researchers say the overall value of pollination services are significantly higher than the $216/€153 billion estimate.

A study published in the April 2006 issue of BioScience calculated that insects are worth $57 billion to the U.S. economy, of which only $3 billion was from pollination. But at the time, the authors warned their assessment was conservative.

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