The Dasgupta Interim Review on the Economics of Biodiversity – Feedback

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

The balance sheet of nature? On making monetary value of UK ‘natural capital’

… capitalism cannot be fully attained or practiced [sic] until... we have an accurate balance sheet [that places] natural capital on the balance sheets of companies, countries, … [and] the world. A global consolidation of ecological accounting, and particularly natural capital accounting, aims to make nature values visible both as stocks of ‘natural capital’ and … Continue reading The balance sheet of nature? On making monetary value of UK ‘natural capital’

Extraction old and new: mining the desert in southwestern Africa

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

On ‘natural capital’ and ‘ecosystem services’ in the proposed Nature and Well-being Act (The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB)

This post responds to an invitation to add my views to a comments thread regarding the  'Green Paper' for A Nature and Well-being Act (hereafter 'Green Paper'), published in 2014 by the The Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB. The comments thread makes reference to work of mine by the anonymous 'todaysmysteryguest’, writing on Jan 8th … Continue reading On ‘natural capital’ and ‘ecosystem services’ in the proposed Nature and Well-being Act (The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB)

The natural capital myth

The Making of ‘Natural Capital’ Increasingly, it seems, nature is actually money. The contemporary moment of global crisis in both ecological and economic spheres is also the moment wherein ‘Nature’ is being refashioned as ‘Natural Capital’. Key interlocking elements thus are joining the previously rather separate domains of economics, business and finance, with ecology, environmentalism and conservation. … Continue reading The natural capital myth

Biodiversity conservation, financialisation and equity: some currents and concerns

 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

Offsetting nature

'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

The business of bio(cultural) diversity?

On 8 July, an opinion piece was published in the journal Nature under the title ‘The Business of Biodiversity‘. In it, Ricardo Bayon of EKO Asset Management Partners, and Michael Jenkins,  Director of Forest Trends, argue that: ‘Imposing a price on natural resources and ecosystem services is by far the most effective way of forcing … Continue reading The business of bio(cultural) diversity?