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What makes our planet's natural treasures worth saving, and why should we care? With hundreds of stunning full-color photographs and more than twenty data-rich essays from some of the most well-respected intellects in the conservation movement today, this latest publication in the CEMEX Conservation Book Series aims to provide some of these answers. With precise, scientific analyses, The Wealth of Nature offers a detailed, value-driven explanation of the various ecosystem services that support and regulate all natural processes. It also provides cultural context for how these services are vital for our existence on Earth and why their futures – and ours – are at risk. World-renowned scientists and award-winning nature photographers have been brought together by series editor Cristina Mittermeier to make one singular statement: while the Earth's intricate web of life may be resilient, we have radically spent down the capital of nature's account.
This book is a celebration of nature's ecological services and demonstrates how our current policies do not adequately value and conserve ecosystems and the biodiversity that supports them. It also shows us how reinvigorating biodiversity is essential for
reversing the current state of degradation. Illustrated by breathtaking images from some of the most celebrated documentary photographers of our day – Frans Lanting, Beverly Joubert, Flip Nicklin, Joel Sartore, Jürgen Freund, Staffan Widstrand, and many others – The Wealth of Nature challenges us to understand the economic significance of the depletion of ecological services and how the pace of biodiversity loss is now outstripping our ability to respond.
Including a comprehensive introduction compiled by a distinguished group of scientists led by Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier (President of Conservation International), as well as perspectives from Jeffrey McNeely (chief scientist of the IUCN) and Julia Marton-Lefèvre (IUCN's current Director General), this work maps out the state of our global resources and clarifies the choices that lay before us. It is within our grasp to adapt to the conditions we have created and to mitigate our impact on the future, but the window of opportunity is closing. Now is the time to reclaim our humility in relationship to the natural world and resurrect an understanding of how interdependent we are with the environment.