Conserving Earth’s biological diversity and the critical ecosystems that support life on our planet has been central to our environmental conservation work at the Moore Foundation for nearly twenty years. Our founders have long recognized that resilience depends on diversity, and all living species depend on the health of the planet. New reports published in time for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity shine a bright light on the value of nature and the urgent need to finance its conservation.
In “Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap,” The Nature Conservancy, the Paulson Institute, and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability calculate a need for US$722-967 billion per year, globally, to reverse the decline in biodiversity by 2030 — which translates to an annual nature funding gap as high as US$824 billion. By contrast, governmental spending on agriculture, forestry, and fisheries subsidies that degrade nature, is up to four times higher than spending that benefits nature. Yet the need to transform this economic system is a fundamental matter of planetary health: with greater biodiversity comes heightened capacity for our planet to cope with human-induced pressures — from resource depletion, to land conversion, to climatic changes — and to continue providing a livable environment where all species, including humans, can thrive.
With current rates of terrestrial and marine ecosystem degradation and habitat fragmentation, we may have a limited window of opportunity to conserve nature at the needed scale, but nature-based solutions offer promise for overcoming the environmental and humanitarian challenges we face. Around the world, leaders have declared support for the science-based target to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030, requiring a doubling of nature conservation on land and in national waters. To help chart this course, the World Economic Forum has developed a trio of reports that make the business case for investing in a nature-based economy. The papers explain why nature loss presents a material risk to business and the economy, what will be needed for roadmaps to build a “nature-positive future,” and (to be published in early 2021) market and investment opportunities for these nature-based solutions. The New Nature Economy Report Series helps illustrate where investment would best capture benefits, address risks and deliver enduring impact.
To slow and stop the global loss of biodiversity, we must fundamentally rethink our relationship with nature and transform our economic models and market systems. The policy and economic actions needed to achieve this require considerable political will, broad public support, and substantial investment. This will not happen overnight and, in the short to medium term, there is an urgent need to scale up finance for nature.
New Nature Economy Report Series
Collectively, we need clear pathways for business to be part of the transition to a nature-positive economy. A series of reports from World Economic Forum shows the relevance of nature loss to boardroom discussions on risks, opportunities, and financing.