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One of the primary threats to our planet and the human systems that depend on it is the fact that the wonderful and complex role of nature in our lives is not integrated into the markets that drive our day to day decision making. The prices of the food we eat, the electricity we use, the medicines we need, for example, do not reflect the true costs of their production in terms of impacts on water, soils, biodiversity and other ‘ecosystem services’, and our planet’s ‘natural capital’ is therefore being steadily eroded.
At Fauna & Flora International (FFI) we recognise that the intrinsic value of nature is essentially beyond measure and sympathise with those who worry that efforts to measure its value and incorporate this into markets will lead to the ‘commodification’ of nature. Yet to us it is clear that there are significant and effective ways of harnessing markets to work for, not against, nature.
The FFI Environmental Markets programme works to ensure that the true values of the benefits we gain from nature are better incorporated into decisions affecting their use and management – decisions by individuals, by organisations, by the private sector and by governments.
Over the past five years the programme has incubated, tested and encouraged wide use of a series of innovative instruments to make this happen, building a highly respected programme of work.
The programme currently focuses on three key areas:
In delivering this work our core values are to ensure long-term financial viability and sustainability to protect biodiversity using high standards of scientific integrity, and to respect the rights, cultures and livelihoods of people whose lives depend on the natural resources we are working to protect.
All of our initiatives build on a long history of cooperation with in-country partners. We can demonstrate that the Programme has reduced threats to species and ecosystems worldwide, has helped to secure habitats, and we are confident that on-going work on new market-based instruments and approaches will continue to do so.