Human behaviour has been the main cause of our planet’s biodiversity decline.
The UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warns that humans are drawing down stocks of natural capital faster than it can renew itself. The World Economic Forum estimates that half – US$44 trillion – of the world’s GDP is highly or moderately dependent on nature.
A continued trajectory will mean humans face a future where 30-50 per cent of all species may be lost by mid-century posing enormous risks to human prosperity and well-being.
The persistent drawing down of natural capital without allowing for nature to recover and without corresponding investment in human and produced capital, poses a significant challenge to achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development objectives. There is therefore an urgent need to improve natural capital accounting and scale-up finance for nature.
Currently, there is an estimated financing gap of between US$598 billion and US$824 billion per year. In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in financial support focused on accounting for natural capital – from nature-based solutions, natural infrastructure to biodiversity offsets. Not least the recent Taskforce for Nature Financial Disclosures (TNFD) as market-led consortium to provide the global financial body with better tools to account for nature-negative outcomes.
Are these mechanisms truly helping the case for more resilient biodiversity protection? How can we strengthen the case for the accounting of natural capital which can eventually be recognised as a working standard that holds up to the financial community? What unique role does the Asian region play to further the business case for nature-based solutions?
Director of the Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia-Pacific of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (KAS)