The "financialization of nature" is a flawed approach to saving biodiversity, an environmental groups warns as representatives from over 170 countries meet at a United Nations biodiversity conference.
In the midst of the United Nations 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Biodiversity, or COP 11, meeting in Hyderabad, India, from Oct. 8 to 19, Friends of the Earth International warns of the corporate approach of treating biodiversity as a market commodity.
"Biodiversity and forests are critical for the survival of people and the planet, and are thus priceless. Our biodiversity needs to be protected, not speculated on by reckless and unaccountable financial markets,” says Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International Coordinator of the Forests and Biodiversity Program.
Watchdog group Food & Water Watch has been part of the chorus against this market-based approach. "Much lauded by the banking industry, this 'financialization of nature' reduces the value of water and other life-giving resources to exchangeable financial instruments," the group explained earlier this year.
Rojas' comments comes on the heels of a report finding it would cost $76bn dollars annually to meet conservation targets. Environmental economist Donal McCarthy, who led the study, told the BBC that the amount is "just a fraction of what we as consumers spend on soft drinks each year which is almost half a trillion dollars - the total required for species and sites is less than half of what is paid out in bonuses to bankers on Wall street's biggest investment banks."
"Financialization of Nature, which many corporations are lobbying for, is a recipe for disaster. The takeover of biodiversity by the financial sector must be stopped," Rojas added.