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Valuing Nature: Why Mexico's Protected Areas Matter for Economic and Human Wellbeing

Juan Bezaury-Creel; Luis Pabon-Zamora

Together with the National Protected Areas Council, the Nature Conservancy has conducted a study which compiles information about how natural protected areas in Mexico generate extremely valuable goods and services for the benefit of the economy and the population. Mexico’s protected areas provide economic benefits and save economic costs worth almost $3.4 billion every year, just through storing carbon, protecting water supplies and supporting the tourism industry. If all their benefits were to be valued, the total figure would be far higher than this. This represents an economic return of $56 for each dollar invested in protected areas from the Federal budget. Mexico’s protected areas save the global community around $2.5 billion each year by storing carbon, add water worth between $130 million and $260 million to the national economy, and inject tourist spending of $760million and employment of close to 30,000 jobs into local economies.