The need for economic instruments to value biodiversity is a fundamental element towards its conservation. The negative implications of non-sustainable practices include lower productivity, biodiversity and forest loss, natural disasters and the perpetuation of poverty and underdevelopment. That is why developing countries need to work together in the definition of a common route to protect their natural richness and associated economic value.
In recent months, a report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has garnered attention. The document, entitled “Latin America and the Caribbean: A biodiversity super power” recognizes the role of the region in moving its practices towards sustainability. Countries such as Colombia, Brazil and Peru have demonstrated how to develop sustainable mechanisms in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, protected areas and hydrological services, that are coming to generate a fundamental transformation in environmental management.
A different and more sustainable use of biodiversity, the report says, will increase the region’s income and will reduce the risks and costs associated to potential natural disasters. It will also contribute to new opportunities in green markets, new economic benefits and to increased development and equality for their citizens.
UNDP’s policy proposal is focused on four aspects: Sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems services, definition of their economic value, education and promotion and innovation. In this way, the results will not be exclusively centered on economic growth, but they will also contribute to the social development of the different countries and their communities. Reinforced control mechanisms and enhanced civil society participation will be fundamental in this process.
It is now the task of the involved countries to use these guidelines in their public policy domains. As stated by UNDP, ecosystems’ management and conservation should be part of the long term plans of all countries, and it is required that they count on the appropriate economic and governance instruments to promote sustainability and to penalize unsustainable activities.
For more information on the report click here.