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This article was originally published on Trinity College Dublin


“Renowned campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and leading British environmentalist Tony Juniper asked ‘What has Nature ever done for us?’ as he challenged perceptions at a public lecture at Trinity College Dublin earlier this week.

For decades environmental damage has been seen as a regrettable but necessary price of progress — the inevitable consequence of economic growth. Such a world view often regards environmental laws and targets to be ‘anti-development’ and a threat to the interests of people.

Reality is somewhat different, however, as more and more research confirms that healthy natural systems are vital preconditions for advancing human wellbeing. From the pollination of crops to the recycling of nutrients in soils, and from the replenishment of freshwater to the capture and storage of carbon, nature delivers a wide range of essential services — and for free.

If we are to avoid the costly consequences that will accompany the continuing degradation of natural systems, then we need to understand the full range of values provided by nature, including those with economic and practical benefit in the human world…”

Read on at: Trinity College Dublin