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The Global Value of Freshwater Lakes
  • Xingming Li,
  • Panagiotis Tsigaris
Xingming Li
Thompson Rivers University
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Panagiotis Tsigaris
Thompson Rivers University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Lakes face threats from human activities like unsustainable development, population growth, and industrial technologies. These challenges impact the ecosystem services of lakes. Research has assessed the value of services from freshwater biomes annually. This article reviews these values, estimating lakes’ global ecosystem services to be within the region of USD 1.5 to 5.5 trillion annually. Their natural asset value is estimated at USD 100 - 337 trillion, comparable to value of global real estate, assuming a relatively high social discount rate to account for future increased standard of livings. Considering environmental degradation, future generations may experience a lower living standard. Using a 0.1% discount rate, recognizing potential harm and aligning with indigenous values, raises the lakes’ value to USD 1,500 - 5,500 trillion which is at least equal to the global value of wealth created. This valuation is shared by all, unlike the skewed distribution of created wealth.
14 Oct 2023Submitted to Ecology Letters
19 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
19 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
19 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned