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Despite how much people depend on the environment, the economic value placed on natural assets is zero as revealed in this Pavan Sukhdev keynote. The banker by trade opens his speech by illustrating how the Amazon Rainforest provides over 20 billion tons of water vapor which is absorbed by the North Eastern trade winds that go on to feed an agricultural economy of 240 billion dollars in Latin American. Despite the abundance of economic prosperity that the Rainforests provide, the value of what comes to human beings from nature still does not have a price assigned to it.
Referring to economics as “the currency of policy,” Sukhdev argues that if current trends continue to remain there will be a gradual degradation and loss of valuable natural resources. Rather than taking it for granted, environmental resources need to be priced in a manner that demands ethical and conscientious attention.