Was die Rettung eines Baumes kostet

Lateinamerika ist mit überreicher Flora und Fauna gesegnet. Ein Drittel aller Säugetierarten und über ein Viertel aller bekannten Reptilien- und Vogelarten leben in dieser Region. Allerdings ist diese Vielfalt bedroht. Mit der Rodung von 7 Millionen Hektar Waldfläche pro Jahr werden in Südamerika mehr Bäume gefällt, als auf jedem anderen Kontinent. Infolgedessen sind über 10.000 Arten von der Ausrottung bedroht – zwei Drittel aller gefährdeten Arten auf diesem Planeten.

Die Lösung dieses Problems ist jedoch sonnenklar. Landbesitzer fällen Bäume, weil sie daraus den größten ökonomischen Nutzen ziehen. Daher liegt es an der Politik, Anreize zu schaffen, die Bäume stehen zu lassen. Wenn es uns gelingt, dass versteckte Potenzial der lateinamerikanischen Wälder nutzbar zu machen – ohne diese Wälder dabei zu zerstören – können wir mit einer Lösung für das Problem der Zerstörung von Lebensraum aufwarten.

Die Kosten einzelner Bemühungen zur Erhaltung einer Art wie des nördlichen Fleckenkauzes sind leicht zu berechnen. Schwieriger ist es schon herauszufinden, wie viel es kosten würde, Landbesitzer davon abzubringen, Bäume zu fällen. Das heißt allerdings nicht, dass es keine derartigen Versuche gegeben hat. Die Schätzungen der Ökonomen bewegen sich zwischen 1,23 Milliarden Dollar pro Jahr (zur Rettung der Bäume in den Regionen Lateinamerikas mit der größten Artenvielfalt), über 5,8 Milliarden Dollar jährlich (um 2 % der Bodenfläche des Kontinents zu retten) bis hin zu 500 Milliarden Dollar (als einmalige Aufwendung zur Rettung aller Wälder Lateinamerikas).

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