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Ecosystem's value measured

China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-26 08:05

China on Monday launched a pilot gross ecosystem product evaluation system to break away from the GDP-above-all mentality.

The system is the first of its type and will be launched in the Kubuqi Desert in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the seventh-largest desert in China.

The standard will measure the total economic value of all ecosystem products and services that nature provides for human well-being. The program will be jointly launched by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Elion Foundation.

It will develop a pilot program to establish an evaluation framework for GEP and identify practical policies, technology and institutional arrangements for establishing a GEP accounting system, according to the statement.

"If we only measure economic growth using GDP, we do not capture the vast environmental costs incurred, thus creating a false impression of economic prosperity," said Huang Yi, a professor on environmental science at Peking University.

"Besides the current GDP, we hope the GEP accounting system can be used as a new standard to evaluate local economic and social development in the future," said Zhu Chunquan, China program officer of the IUCN.

- Jin Zhu

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