From an economy of biodiversity to an economy of biodiversity conservation

Wednesday 15 July 2020

From an Economics of Biodiversity to an Economics of Biodiversity Conservation (H. Levrel, FRB’ SC, June 2020)

Summary: The first point of this opinion is to stress that the way in which the economics of biodiversity has been developed over the years - that of demonstrating that nature must be valued economically and provide a financial opportunity for business - still does not seem to have proved its effectiveness in generating an ecological transition from the current economic model. This is not to say that an economic approach to biodiversity does not make sense in itself, but that a "Copernican revolution" in this approach should be envisaged. It seems essential to us to move from a vision where biodiversity is only a source of opportunities or risks for the economic system to a vision where the economic system is also and above all a source of opportunities or risks for biodiversity. The reflections, and the economic tools to be mobilized that stem from this position, are very different from those that have been proposed so far.

Among the proposals submitted in this report, the necessary transformations of the accounting systems of organizations, for private accounting, and of States, for national accounting, are part of the reforms deemed important and a priority:

"Among the important reforms to be carried out (...)
- Creating an organization-wide ecological accounting systems (corporate accounting), ecosystems. (biophysical accounting)and countries (national accounting), which makes visible the ecological debts generated with respect to Nature and makes it possible to redefine what can be understood by wealth creation. (Aïchi objective 2.3) (p.3) (...)
- These ecological transitions in our economic system concern : (...)
-  The creation of an ecological accounting system that clearly shows the ecological debts or claims

that private organizations or countries accumulate through their activities ;
- The establishment of a system of ecological taxation that can use as a tax base the ecological accounting imposed on private organizations

, in order to provide real incentives for reducing impacts on biodiversity or investing in biodiversity restoration; (p.30)".

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