Global wetlands are worth over $66.55 trillion dollars a year, according to a new study.

The international research finds wetlands make up making up around 44 per cent of the value of all natural biomass.

The analysis also found that coastal wetlands, including coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves, which make up around a sixth of the global natural wetland area, contribute almost half of this value.

Much of the dollar value of wetlands comes from their ability to regulate water, and for coastal wetlands, erosion protection also plays a major role.

The new study “reaffirms the major value of natural wetlands in their delivery of benefits supporting people’s livelihoods and well-being,” according to the paper published by the CSIRO.

“Although forming only ~3% of global surface area, we now estimate that natural wetlands are delivering 43.5% of the total global monetary value of ecosystem services from natural biomes.

“However, despite the evidence available now for over 20 years of this great monetary value, natural wetlands are continuing to be destroyed and the degradation of remaining natural wetlands is becoming increasingly.

“It seems that information on the monetary value of wetland ecosystem services is still not sufficiently understood and recognised by policy and decision makers.

“Consequently, policies and decisions to convert and destroy natural wetlands, with increasingly negative effects on people’s livelihoods and well-being, rather than to maintain such wetlands continue.”