Understanding the true value of nature is key to addressing the global biodiversity crisis, according to a new assessment by leading scientists.
Halting the loss of nature requires a shift away from prioritising short-term material gains, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) says in a landmark report.
The study offers insights into the many different values of nature and how to incorporate these into decision-making.
A summary was approved on Saturday by 139 countries in Bonn, Germany.
"Shifting decision-making towards the multiple values of nature is a really important part of the system-wide transformative change needed to address the current global biodiversity crisis," said co-chair, Prof Patricia Balvanera.
"This entails redefining 'development' and 'good quality of life' and recognising the multiple ways people relate to each other and to the natural world."
Decisions Based on Narrow Set of Market Values of Nature Underpi
Decisions Based on Narrow Set of Market Values of Nature Underpin the Global Biodiversity Crisis
More than 50 Methods & Approaches Exist to
Make Visible the Diverse Values of Nature
The way nature is valued in political and economic decisions is both a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis and a vital opportunity to address it, according to a four-year methodological assessment by 82 top scientists and experts from every region of the world.
Approved on Saturday, by representatives of the 139 member States of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature finds that there is a dominant global focus on short-term profits and economic growth, often excluding the consideration of multiple values of nature in policy decisions.
Economic and political decisions have predominantly prioritised certain values of nature, particularly market-based instrumental values of nature, such as those associated with food produced intensively. Although often privileged in policymaking, these market values do not adequately reflect how changes in nature affect people’s quality of life. Furthermore, policymaking overlooks the many non-market values associated with nature’s contributions to people, such as climate regulation and cultural identity.