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The Australian PlantBank will deliver environmental, social and economic returns on the investment. The benefits to be derived from this project are both quantifiable, as well as those that are more difficult to measure. Whilst some benefits will be evident in the short-term, many will not be realised until well into the future.
Economic modelling has calculated PlantBank will generate:
The benefits to the environment through the creation of a seed repository which holds in perpetuity seeds from the Stateís endangered species are immeasurable. The real value of the seed repository and associated research and education programs will only become known if significant environmental change occurs, impacting on biodiversity, productive capacity and economic value. Alongside long-term benefits, immediate non-quantifiable benefits to the environment are significant and include:
Whilst many of the benefits are qualitative and difficult to quantify, an analysis of quantifiable benefits has been undertaken. Quantifiable benefits include:
The costs associated with the development and operation of PlantBank has been modelled using a discount cash flow analysis. With the effect of CPI increases removed, the costs demonstrate the economic cost of investment in PlantBank and its operation.
The capital cost and net cost of operating PlantBank over the next 20 years have been calculated. As the PlantBank facility does not result in a negative impact on the environment or cause consequential losses to other parts of the Trust, no other economic cost has been included in the model. A discount rate of 7% has been applied.
Summary of the Cost Benefit-Analysis
Presented below is a summary of the cost-benefit analysis associated with the development of PlantBank.
Investment in Plantbank
With a benefit - cost ratio of 3.53 PlantBank is considered value for money, particularly when taking into account the non-quantified benefits to the environment.