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The compelling reason why the financial sector must invest in boosting Earth's biodiversity

The world is experiencing a catastrophic fall in biodiversity. Not only is this an environmental disaster, it can also lead to financial ruin; $44 trillion of economic value is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its related services.
All is not lost, however. With the world's economies so intrinsically linked to the health of the environment, there are huge opportunities for financial investment from both the public and private sectors to support projects designed to restore Earth's biodiversity.
Nature-based and derived solutions provide a host of compelling investment opportunities that could supercharge a positive growth trajectory for the environment and the economy going forward. The ratification of the Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 in Montreal in December 2022 and the release of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) beta versions provide a solid starting point and a much-needed fillip for meaningful action.
Progress on multiple biodiversity impact assessment tools and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting standards enable better consideration of nature and biodiversity by financial institutions.
Both public and private capital must work in collaborative and innovative ways to finance biodiversity and nature-positive business models. Here, five global leaders from the private and public sectors, including academia, are filmed sharing their views on how to consider the impact and dependencies on nature and biodiversity when it comes to investment decision-making.
'The future is sustainable or there is no future'
Andre Hoffman, Chairman, Massellaz
We have to accept the fact that the impact of business on the planet will only be positive if we start worrying about other people than shareholders. The future is sustainable or there is no future.
The future is based on us continuing to use the resources at our disposal so that we can continue to grow collectively.
If we do not succeed in the next ten years in finding the right solution, which will deal with the climate crisis and the loss of nature, our humanity and our survival is at risk.
'A new accounting system'
Bernardus J. Marttin, Member of the Managing Board, Rabobank
We are going to have to invent a system where we are going to take the long cost of every decision into the immediate decision.
In effect, we need a new accounting system that will give us the results of our impact on natural capital, social capital and on human capital.
If we at the time of the decision-making we are able to integrate these three different capitals and their interdependencies, we should be able to create value, which is not only a financial value, but also a general contribution to society.
'We have to act'
Leslie Johnston, CEO, Laudes Foundation
We're not just talking about climate. We're not just talking about inequality. We're talking about a biodiversity crisis. We're talking about a nature crisis. We're talking about a food crisis as a geopolitical situation changes around us.
So, we have to act and we have to do it with a systems lens.
And that's where I think there is a big role for foundations to step up, come on board and work with us to try to address this crisis before it gets to the point of no return.
Diversify your portfolio of ideas'

If you look at biodiversity, you can approach it from very different perspectives. You can approach it from a DNA level, from a species level, from a landscapes level, from a country level, from even a continent level.
So, there are so many perspectives that you need to integrate, that with the investment knowledge we have, I think you should always try to diversify your portfolio of ideas.
'More active intervention'
Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Many of the issues of biodiversity are intimately related to those of climate change. Much of the loss of biodiversity is associated with deforestation and that, of course, has a very large impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
If we did more to protect our forests, to encourage sustainable farming, I think we'd actually do a great deal for protecting biodiversity. It would be at least a very good start.
You need government investment, you need regulation. You need more active intervention and partnership between government, private sector, civil society and a whole ecology of institutional arrangements.
May 23, 2023 14:06
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