They hope that by identifying the areas where the most value can be derived from conserving the natural environment, priority can be given and resources focused in ways that deliver the best outcomes for all concerned.
They argue that if this targeted approach is adopted, not only can atmospheric CO2 be reduced by up to 2.6 gigatons per year, but up to 650,000 jobs could be created in conservation management fields, such as wildlife management and area infrastructure. This in turn would either generate or safeguard around $500 billion in global GDP. What’s more, it would also lower the risk of new zoonotic diseases emerging by slowing ecosystem fragmentation.
Of course, achieving such grand ambitions would require a huge, concerted effort by the numerous stakeholders involved, and it is perhaps the concrete recommendations the report makes for those stakeholders that is of most interest on a practical level.
For instance, they advocate those in the private sector to better understand the risks associated with the loss of natural capital and henceforth to make stronger investments in conservation in an attempt to mitigate those risks.
This investment in natural capital could also be amplified through more effective collaboration between sectors, and the authors advocate approaches such as Project Finance for Permanance as a mechanism to support this.
Among governments, the report emphasizes the importance of truly understanding the investment case for the expansion of nature conservation. This would include understanding how and where the erosion of natural capital is and might be putting populations and their livelihoods at risk, while also understanding how the benefits from such investments flow to Indigenous and underserved communities who often live in these conservation areas.
For those of us on a more individual level, the report advocates pooling resources, both financial and human, to try and accelerate projects that have the biggest potential impact. Numerous sustainability investment funds exist to help channel resources in the right direction, and the report urges the donor and practitioner communities to better work together to get the best outcomes.
An organisation that is already walking in this direction is True Price, based in the Netherlands. Their mission is to “… realize sustainable products that are affordable to all by enabling consumers to see and voluntarily pay the true price of products they buy” whereby a ‘true price’ implies that no damage is done to people or to nature: it is fully sustainable. If all products are sold for a true price, then the global economy is sustainable.