May 23, 2010

Economic Changes Needed To Save The Natural World

A key UN report on biodiversity will recommend major changes such as company fines to help save the planet's species and protect the natural world.

The report also argues that global action on biodiversity is more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change.

"ËœThe Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' (TEEB) report was launched in 2007 with the support of the UN Environment Program, after G8 and major emerging economies called for a global study.

The report, when it makes publication this summer, will argue that if nature is not factored into the global economic system, then the environment will become more fragile and be exposed to external shocks, placing human lives and the world's economy in jeopardy.

The TEEB report will also advise that companies be fined and taxed for over-exploitation of the natural world. Strict limitations should also be placed on what they can take from the environment.

Businesses and governments should also be asked to provide accounts for their use of natural and human resources. Communities should be paid to preserve natural environments rather than exhaust them.

The Guardian also reported that the UN will recommend reforming state subsidies for certain industries, like energy, farming and fishing. The TEEB report will also warn that a third of the world's natural habitats have been damaged by human activities.

"We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature," report author Pavan Sukhdev told the Guardian.

Sukhdev, head of the UN Environment Program's green economy initiative, appealed for nature to be regarded "not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within."


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