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Wildlife 'worth pounds 1bn'.

Byline: Kat Baldwyn

WILDLIFE in Birmingham and the Black Country is worth a staggering pounds 1 billion.

Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust enlisted environmental economist Oliver H|lzinger to value the contribution of green infrastructure, including green spaces including wildlife and wildlife sites, to the region.

Mr H|lzinger produced a report which valued ecosystem services provided by woodland, heathland and wetland within Birmingham and the Black Country and presented his findings to a workshop at the International Association for Landscape Ecology - UK conference "Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Services".

It said stating the best guess, 2,422 hectares of Green Infrastructure provides an annual value of at least pounds 20.8 million which results in pounds 1.1 billion capitalised over 100 years.

But it added that the incomplete scientific evidence and partially insuffi-cient baseline data meant a wide range of ecosystem services were not included in this value - so the findings can be interpreted as a minimum estimate of the total value.

Wildlife Trust chief executive, Neil Wyatt, said: "Most of us instinctively value wildlife and green spaces to our well being, but in diffi-cult economic times it can be seen as less of a priority.

"This work is a key step towards quantifying the very real contribution the natural world makes to Birmingham and the Black Country."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 15, 2011
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