On 30th April 2020, an Interim Report on The Economics of Biodiversity was published by the UK government. Commissioned by UK Treasury and led by economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, the report is shorthanded as 'The Dasgupta Review', following the tradition established by the 2014 'Stern Review' on The Economics of Climate Change authored by … Continue reading The Dasgupta Interim Review on the Economics of Biodiversity – Feedback
By Mike Hannis and Sian Sullivan, for the Future Pasts research project. At the extreme southern tip of Africa in 1652, the world’s first trans-national corporation began establishing a new port. The powerful Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC) initially just wanted a resupply point for ships rounding the Cape on … Continue reading Extraction old and new: mining the desert in southwestern Africa
Does putting a price tag on our natural world change our behaviour, or is it just another step into a model that brings few benefits for people - let alone our planet? After reading my blog post 'The natural capital myth', the Green Economy Coalition invited me to write a piece on the ‘debates around … Continue reading Should nature have to prove its value?
The conference Development for a Finite Planet: Grassroots Perspectives and Responses to Climate Change, Resource Extraction and Economic Development organised in Oslo by the Norwegian Association for Development Research collected together a diverse array of papers on local engagements with, and contestations of, environmental issues. Contexts as far apart as South Africa’s townships and the … Continue reading Chess or Go? Comments on a Conference Panel
1. On elephants and economics In 1993, Australian ecologist Graeme Caughley published a paper on elephant conservation and market reasoning in Conservation Biology. Responding to proposals that clear ownership designations and the ability to sell harvested ivory on a free market would incentivise the conservation of African elephants, he showed that this approach might … Continue reading Biodiversity conservation, financialisation and equity: some currents and concerns
'Mike Hannis and Sian Sullivan explore the strange world of biodiversity offsets and habitat banking', for The Land Magazine. Land use planning is a key arena for the spectacles of localism and marketisation being staged by our self-proclaimed greenest government ever. The new “presumption in favour of sustainable development” aims to encourage housebuilding and other … Continue reading Offsetting nature
In the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the villainous business tycoon Domenic Greene, makes a moving (and familiar) speech to potential company sponsors at a spectacularly glamorous, environmental fund-raising gala in Bolivia. He states: We are in a spiral of environmental decline. Since 1945 17% of the planet's vegetated surface has been irreversibly degraded. … Continue reading The environmentality of ‘Earth Incorporated’