In response to the publication today of The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, Joanna Elliott, Senior Conservation Director at Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said:
“The Dasgupta review assessing the economics of biodiversity is clear: to stop the destruction of nature and deliver the investment needed to protect the ecosystems we rely on for survival requires wholesale change at the institutional, policy and regulatory level.
Payments to protect and restore ecosystems need to be revised to ensure they create genuine incentives for nature protection and restoration – and perverse incentives such as fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies that damage nature must finally end. Alongside new financial mechanisms, large-scale investment in nature-based solutions – such as restoring peatlands, mangroves or ocean ecosystems – is critical to stem biodiversity loss, absorb climate-changing emissions and buffer against growing climate impacts.
But this is not enough. New institutional arrangements and global targets for nature that transcend national boundaries and governments are necessary to ensure that finance is directed where it will have most value, and to ensure changes and outcomes are equitable, both socially and between generations. This is why FFI has been vocal in calling for a big step up in inclusive conservation financing and for it to be directed towards those local initiatives and community groups who best understand local conditions.
This is a make-or-break decade for nature and the clock is ticking. The Dasgupta Review echoes what FFI has been saying for a while. Significantly, however, this is a report commissioned by a finance ministry, written for an audience of finance ministers and released at a time when a global pandemic is forcing a re-evaluation of the best way forward. It therefore represents a unique opportunity to help drive a move away from nature-blind economic thinking and towards a world where nature is placed at the heart of all economic decisions.”