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Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont

A lecture on Ecological Economics

The global recession as an opportunity


Dr. Robert Costanza gives a public lecture at the University of Iceland, August 26th in Askja room 132, at 4 pm. The title of his talk is "Using the global recession as an opportunity to create a sustainable and desirable future."

His article on "The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital" published in Nature 1997 is the second most highly cited article in ecology and environment in the last decade:

"The services of ecological systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth's life-support system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. We have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which is outside the market) is estimated to be in the range of US$16-54 trillion (1012) per year, with an average of US$33 trillion per year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, this must be considered a minimum estimate. Global gross national product total is around US$18 trillion per year."

Dr. Costanza is the Gordon and Lulie Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. He is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics and was chief editor of the society's journal, Ecological Economics, 1989 - 2002. He currently serves on the editorial board of eight other international academic journals. He holds various awards and is an honorary doctorate in natural sciences from Stockholm University.

The Gund Institute is a transdisciplinary research- and teaching institute that integrates natural and social science to address environmental research, policy and management issues at multiple scales, from small watersheds to global systems.

Dr. Costanza contributes to an Icelandic research project where Iceland's ecosystem services will be estimated for the first time. Besides, he is the chief lecturer at at a transdiciplinary summer-school, Breaking down the barriers, held at the University of Iceland 24-25 August.

Dr. Costanza is the author or co-author of over 400 scientific papers and 20 books. His work has been cited in more than 4500 scientific articles and he has been named as one of ISI's highly cited researchers. More than 175 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media.

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