In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, any economic stimulus measures must safeguard nature or governments risk exposing humanity to further pandemics. 카지노사이트
That was the thrust of a statement presented on Monday by four experts to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It was a point reiterated by German chancellor Angela Merkel at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on Tuesday.
In their article, biologist Josef Settele, ecologist Sandra Díaz, anthropologist Eduardo Brondizio and zoologist Peter Daszak wrote: “Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a ‘perfect storm’ for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people.”
To mitigate that risk, the scientists called on governments to undertake “transformative change,” and to put an end to “business as usual.” But with the world already in turmoil, what does “transformative change” entail—and how do you get people all around the world on board with such a program?
Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist to the UN Environment Programme, believes it involves teaching people how to value “natural capital”—literally.
“Human well-being depends upon a robust, well-functioning ecosystem and nature,” Kumar says. “This can be treated like the balance sheet of a business, just like any other form of capital.”
Through UN programs such as VANTAGE (Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy), Kumar has promoted the concept of natural capital in order to describe the value of natural ecosystems to our economy, to our well-being as humans, and to the world at large.MORE FOR YOU$100M Magic: Why Bruno Mars And Other Stars Are Ditching Their ManagersJust 23 Million Amtrak Passengers In 2022; U.S. Airlines Had 736 MillionBaby Steps For Tencent’s Global Fintech Business 바카라사이트
“Monetary value can clear the haziness and subjectivity around decisions,” Kumar says. “It helps stakeholders—politicians, businesspeople, farmers, the general public—to understand the possible trade-off between the existence of nature and extraction of the benefits.”
To some that might sound exploitative—but when you present nature in this way, Kumar believes, humans are better able to understand and conserve its value.
That’s important because the need to protect biodiversity is paramount. As IPBES notes, pandemics, biodiversity and climate change are inextricably linked. The destruction and pollution of habitats such as forests and wetlands has driven millions of species to extinction, while simultaneously eliminating natural mechanisms to absorb CO2 and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, climate change is forcing species to adapt, though shifting habitat, changing life cycles, or the development of new physical traits. 온라인카지노
At the same time, encroachment on natural ecosystems through resource exploitation and human settlement also provides opportunities for pathogens such as viruses to spill over into the human population. It is likely that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, originated in bats via some other mammal such as pangolins, and growing evidence suggests epidemics will become more frequent as the Earth warms.
“COVID-19 has essentially arisen due to the dysfunctional relationship between nature and humans,” Kumar explains. “This disruption has happened because of the way we’ve destroyed biodiversity.”
Conversely, biodiversity can support efforts to reduce the negative effects of climate change. Conserved or restored habitats like woodland remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while intact ecosystems, such as mangrove swamps, can help reduce the impact of flooding and storm surges.
“Biodiversity and the biosphere are often treated as the ‘bounty of nature,’ but that is wrong,” Kumar says. “Food, water, biomass and scenic beauty are just like any other goods and services. And they also require investment for their maintenance.”