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Building a new and strong economic narrative on nature loss and ecosystem degradation.

The damage we are inflicting on nature is not only a grave environmental crisis, it is a growing economic one. Despite many attempts over the last 50 years to make clear the links between the economy and a healthy environment — indeed to stress the dependence of the former on the latter — evidence is not leading to action.As far back as the 1972 Limits to Growth report from the Club of Rome, warnings have been raised about the ability of our planet to maintain a growing population, given current modes of production and consumption. Indeed, the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed at the UN in 1992, set out to protect nature and ensure its sustainable use.In 2007, during the G8+5 countries meeting in Potsdam, Germany, environment ministers proposed to initiate the process of analysing the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation, and that’s how The …

Arctic lifeline could be cut by expanding offshore oil drilling

Not long ago, bowhead whales in the Barents Sea, between the Norwegian and Russian Arctic, were thought to be extinct because of whaling activities. But scientists discovered that a small number of bowheads still live in a biologically rich area known as the marginal ice zone. Despite prices for crude oil dipping into historic lows, this group of critically endangered whales faces a new threat as the Norwegian parliament decides in the coming weeks whether to expand oil drilling into the globally significant marginal ice zone.The marginal ice zone is the area where Arctic sea ice meets the open ocean. It stretches like a belt across the Arctic, thousands of kilometers long, as the extent of the ice expands and retreats throughout the year. This area has supported unique biodiversity such as phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, polar bears, birds, seals and whales for millions of years. It is now under threat from climate change as the shrinking extent of the sea ice tempts oil producers …

Time to renew the relationship between people and nature

Today we are celebrating Earth Day, one of the world’s largest civic movements committed to mobilizing people to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time from climate change to biodiversity loss.Earth Day comes at a time when we are in the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis that has infected over 2.5 million people and killed over 175,000 people worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has swept through countries and continents causing untold human suffering, social upheaval and economic damage. Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones; with those individuals who are sick and the health workers who are on the frontline of fighting this pandemic. At this time more than ever, we need to stand in solidarity as a global community for humanity.While the spread of the current crisis is unprecedented, the new coronavirus follows a growing trend of similar diseases that have emerged in recent decades, such as Ebola, AIDS, SARS, avian influenza and swine flu, all origin…

5 ways to protect biodiversity

\What is Biodiversity? Why does Biodiversity matter to us? What can you do for biodiversity, and what does it do for you?You might find yourself asking similar questions, and you’d be right, it is a vast topic, but the one thing I would say is that we are indivisible from biodiversity and nature and it is time we renew that relationship. A New Deal for Nature and People is urgently needed.Biodiversity — the abbreviated form of biological diversity, means the abundance and variety of life on the planet. A biologically diverse natural environment is essential to human health, well-being and prosperity. It provides us with everything from the air that we breathe, to the water that we drink and the food that we eat. More than 7 billion people inhabiting planet earth rely on nature and biodiversity for their livelihood and well-being, either through economic, cultural, or spiritual benefits. Nature also has intrinsic value — it has value in its own right too.Unfortunately, we are losing bi…

Why your company should join the call on governments to protect nature

Nature is everyone’s businessToday, leading businesses such as Merman Tiun, Carrefour, H&M, JD.com, Natura, and Walmart have called on governments around the world to protect and restore nature, recognizing it as the foundation of our health and prosperity. And in an open letter the Business for Nature coalition, representing nearly 50 influential business and civil society organisations, is urging others to join them in leading the call for a ‘nature positive’ future.Around $44 trillion of economic value generation — over half of the world’s GDP — is moderately or highly dependent on nature. Yet we are using up natural resources and degrading natural systems faster than nature can replenish and restore them.As nature loss reduces the provision of services such as pollination, clean air and water, and disease control, sectors such as construction, agriculture, and food and beverages that are most dependent on nature could be significantly disrupted.We are eroding our planet’s natu…

Harnessing sovereign debt investment in the fight for climate and nature

A data-driven revolution now means investors can harness sovereign debt in pursuit of sustainability and resilience, and a new tool from TIUN and global asset manager merman tiun club, the Climate and Nature Sovereign Index, allows them to assess climate and nature risks in real-time alongside other economic and financial factors.Sustainability risingIn July this year, the Brazilian government announced a temporary ban of 120 days on setting fires in the Amazon. Designed to combat surging deforestation in the planet’s most biodiverse region, the measure came in response to sustained pressure from global financial institutions who hold assets in Brazil, including sovereign bonds — one of the primary instruments that governments use to raise capital.This followed similar actions on deforestation by investors, including Nordea Asset Management, who last year put approximately $100 million of Brazilian sovereign debt purchases under review due to widespread forest fires.The Australian gov…

Freshwater species in freefall: why everyone should care

TIUN’s new Living Planet Report has confirmed our worst fears. Freshwater species populations are continuing to plummet — now down 84% on average in the past 50 years. While that shocking statistic tells the story of decades of decline in the overall abundance of freshwater life, it also includes tales of extinction, including this year’s biggest loss — the Yangtze Paddlefish. Sadly, too many other freshwater species are heading for the same fate.It’s no coincidence that confirmation of the ongoing collapse in freshwater species comes just a couple of months after the UN announced that the world was still way off track in terms of SDG6 — providing water for all. Few people connect the two, but the loss of freshwater biodiversity is the clearest sign that we are not on course to achieve that essential goal. Destroying the freshwater ecosystems that our societies and economies depend on is no pathway to sustainable development.Water sustainability has to incorporate the protection of ec…

Justice For the Ocean

A ship runs aground and breaks in two on the shores of a protected area — coating Mauritian beaches, coral reefs and mangroves in a poisonous sludge and putting fisheries and wildlife at risk of toxic contamination. On the other side of world, a fleet of fishing vessels indiscriminately hoover up marine life, including endangered whale sharks, in the Galapagos National Park.The past couple of weeks have brought into sharp relief some of the threats to our ocean, its creatures, and the communities and economies dependent upon its health. Many articles have been written, tweets liked and videos shared. (My 14-year old niece in Mauritius and her friends are prepared to donate their hair to the clean-up efforts.) We are sad and outraged.What can we take from these seemingly disconnected events? Apart from the obvious — that the behaviour of the captains, crews, and companies behind these vessels is damaging ocean health and economies — there are lessons here about what needs to be done to…