Saving Species, Saving Us: Biodiversity Investments Are Critical to Global Green Economy

A new study warns of ecosystem collapse in the coming years. Investing in biodiversity must be made a priority
Nov 23, 2011 10:35 AM ET
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Posted by Reynard Loki

"We cannot manage what we do not measure and we are not measuring either the value of nature's benefits or the costs of their loss," wrote Pavan Sukhdev in an article last year in The Guardian about the services that biodiversity and healthy ecosystems provide to humankind.[1] Now, a new study conducted by Dr. Murray Rudd, a conservation biologist at the Environment Department at the University of York in the United Kingdom, highlights how our long-term devaluing of the natural world has led to a general consensus in the scientific community that environmental collapse on a wide-scale level is inevitable.

Rudd issued a survey to 583 of the world's leading conservation researchers and found that they were unanimous in their view that "a serious loss of biological diversity is likely, very likely, or virtually certain" and that "tropical coral ecosystems were perceived as the most seriously affected by loss of biological diversity" -- particularly troubling as some 30 million people around the world are almost totally dependent on healthy coral reefs for their survival and around half a billion people have some dependency on reefs.[2]

Rudd's survey also found that "many scientists expressed a willingness to consider conservation triage, engage in active conservation interventions, and consider reframing conservation goals and measures of success for conservation of biological diversity in an era of climate change."[3]

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Reynard is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility. A former media executive with 15 years experience in the private and non-profit sectors, Reynard is the co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio that explores transnational progressivism, neo-nomadism, post-humanism and futurism. He is also author of the blog 13.7 Billion Years, covering cosmology, biodiversity, animal welfare, conservation and ethical consumption. He is currently developing the Underground Desert Living Unit (UDLU), a sustainable single-family dwelling envisioned as a potential adaptation response to the future loss of human habitat due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change.