The Uttarakhand government recently announced it will initiate valuation of its natural resources in the form of ‘Gross Environment Product’ (GEP), said to be along the lines of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
About Gross Environment Product (GEP)
GEP is the measure of ecosystem services of any area.
It reflects the aggregated annual value of goods and services provided by ecosystems (forests, water bodies, oceans, etc.) to people in a given region, such as at district levels, state, and country.
It entails the establishment of a natural capital accounting framework by integrating ecological benefits into common measures of economic growth such as GDP.
It summarizes the value of ecosystem services in a single monetary metric.
GEP can be applied as a scientific basis for Eco-Compensation and public financial transfers.
For example, Finance Commission’s revenue-sharing formula between the Union and the states including forest cover as a determining factor in a state’s share.
GEP can be applied to measure the status of ecosystem services, which is an important indicator of sustainable development.
It is also a critical indicator for measuring the progress of Eco-civilization.
Its implementation can help assess the impact of anthropological pressure on our ecosystem and natural resources- air, water, soil, forests.