Our environment is the natural foundation on which our economy is built | Caroline Spelman | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Our environment is the natural foundation on which our economy is built

Protecting our natural world has solid economic benefits – it creates thousands of jobs and generates billions of pounds

Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, Peak District

The environment is the natural foundation on which our economy is built. The Peak District contributes £155m to the region. Photograph: David Mansell

Our approach to our natural environment is often bafflingly equivocal.

On the one hand, we’re unified by our appreciation of the beauty of our waterways, forests and the diversity of plants, birds and animals. On the other, appreciation hasn’t saved them from piecemeal degradation over the years.

Too often as a society, we decide that economic gain and environmental protection are incompatible, instead of inseparable.

The beauty of our landscapes is significant, but few are aware of the solid economic benefits they bring – and what we don’t value we don’t protect.

So today, when rebuilding their economies is the number one priority for governments across the world, we need to start making the economic case for our environment at least as strongly as we have been making the aesthetic one.

Today, Defra is launching a discussion paper that will lead to the first Natural Environment white paper in 20 years.

For full article go to guardian.co.uk

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