The "Water Matters! Global Water Conference" is underway in Pittsburgh with the release of a new United Nations report on biodiversity.
The report says restoring damaged ecosystems can trigger multi-million dollar returns. It looked at 30 initiatives around the globe and says the mismanagement of natural assets is undercutting economic development on a scale that "dwarfs the current economic crisis."
The reports lays out a series of recommendations including giving priority to a list of biodiversity and ecosystem "hot spots," rehabbing degraded ecosystems to offset new development, and it requests that 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) be set aside for conservation, management and restoration of the environment.
Earlier this year, Pittsburgh was designated as the host city for World Environment Day and this conference is the highlight of the activities that have been held over the last few weeks.