Repeating Islands

Reef ecologist at the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) Jahson Alemu says neglect of the country’s marine ecosystem will lead to a serious loss of economic opportunity for T&T, as Wesley Gibbings reports in this article for T&T’s Guardian.

Alemu’s remarks came as he responded to the country’s 26th place ranking in the first-ever Ocean Health Index (OHI), conducted by a team of international researchers.

He suggested that attaching economic values to ecosystem statistics cited by the OHI would be useful but added there has been a tendency to “seriously undervalue” the worth of the country’s marine ecosystem services. This, he argued, has resulted in “under-investment in conservation and lost opportunities for economic growth and poverty reduction.”

He said: “Fortunately, economic valuation provides a powerful tool for sustainable development by showing how dependent the economy is on an ecosystem and what would be lost if the ecosystem is not…

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