Press release

The value of nature

First ever comprehensive UK assessment of the value of nature to our society and continuing economic prosperity.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The first messages from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment have been published today showing how valuable nature continues to be, both to our society and the economy.

A team of over 200 scientists and economists is making the first ever comprehensive UK assessment of the value of nature to our society and continuing economic prosperity.  Initial findings of this study show just how much has changed in the last 60 years. Things like:

  • Real improvements in air and water quality over the last few decades - which is good for us and good for nature!
  • Increased recognition of the emotional and physical health benefits of access to green space.
  • Much more food from our farmland and, more recently, other benefits too.
  • Our wildlife’s doing many more ‘hidden’ things for us - we need to find out more about trends before we can fully understand just how valuable it is.

The study makes its final report next spring which will include a look ahead to see how what nature does for us might continue to change in the future.

The findings of the National Ecosystem Assessment are forming a valuable part of Government’s thinking as we develop the Natural Environment White Paper. These first messages are particularly timely as we are asking everyone how we can take the value of nature into account in the decisions we all make.

Government is committed to putting the value of the natural environment at the heart of decision making and has today released three documents to encourage policy makers, scientists and economists to help make this happen:

Published 18 October 2010