Gross Environment Product (GEP)
- The Uttarakhand government recently announced it will initiate valuation of its natural resources in the form of ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP).
- It is along the lines of GDP
Need of GEP:
- Rapid degradation of ecosystems, which led to adverse impacts on more than 60 per cent of services we get from the ecosystems in general.
- Uttarakhand, through its biodiversity, gives services to the tune of Rs 95,112 crore per year to the nation. The state has over 71% area under forests.
- Uttarakhand is a state which provides a lot of environment services and in continuity as a result of which, there is a natural degradation in those services.
Concept of (Gross Environment Product) GEP
- It was established back in 1997by ecological economists like Robert Costanza at the global level.
- It is an assessment system to measure ecological status.
- It is considered as the product and service value that the ecosystem provides for human welfare and economic and social sustainable development, including provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services.
- Overall, GEP accounts for the economic value of the ecosystem in providing products and services, and it is one of the components of green GDP.
- Green GDP is an indicator of economic growth with environmental factors taken into consideration along with the standard GDP of a country. It factors biodiversity losses and costs attributed to climate change.
Issues with Adoption of GEP
- It may confuse policy makers and negate the past efforts.
- The purpose of introducing GEP is not transparent.
- Instead of introducing a well-defined concept of ecosystem services, planting a new term with no clear-cut narrative invites serious doubts on the intention of the government.
- So, it is important that the state should be steady in approach, focusing on Ecosystem Services, which has global acceptance and a strong knowledge base.