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
… 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’
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)
Notes from an invited talk given as part of a Public Dialogue on the UK's National Ecosystem Assessment, held at the Royal Society London in 2014. There are a range of different ways of representing the relatively new term and concept of ‘ecosystem services’. Here's one: As you can see, in this image ‘cultural … Continue reading ‘Ecosystem services’ and the role of the market: a concerned view
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 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
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
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?
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’
“People differ not only in their culture but also in their nature, or rather, in the way they construct relations between humans and non-humans.” Loss We hear a lot these days about loss. In April 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that banks, insurance instruments and pension funds have ‘lost’ some US $4.1 trillion … Continue reading Green capitalism, and the cultural poverty of constructing nature as service provider
Notes on the poverty of constructing nature as service-provider Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (UN Declaration of Human Rights, article 19) This post consists of … Continue reading For the G20 Alternative Summit, London 2009
What are "Ecosystem Services"? At first hearing, they sound like a firm of consultants who help you repair your ailing ecosystem. In fact it's the other way round - the service is provided by people with ecosystems to people who no longer have one, and who need one. For example if your forest, or your … Continue reading An ecosystem at your service?
There is an ancient Greek myth that seems to be a potent parable for our times. Demeter, goddess of grain, fertility and the rhythm of the seasons, appears as a mortal priestess to the imperious King Erysichthon, suggesting he refrain from cutting the trees of a sacred grove planted in celebration of all that she … Continue reading On bioculturalism, shamanism and unlearning the creed of growth