We are in the midst of one of the greatest extinction events Earth has experienced, and the first driven by humans. Populations of vertebrates have declined by a staggering 68 percent since 1970. 90 percent of the world’s large fish have disappeared. And today, humans or the livestock on which we depend for food make up 96 percent of the biomass of mammals on Earth.
Our already fraught food supply is under threat. The loss of pollinators alone—our bees and birds—could lead to a drop in agricultural output of more than $200 billion USD annually. Add in the non-food crops such as alfalfa, the main feed for cattle, and the impact rises to more than $500 billion USD a year.
Roughly half of the global economy—$44 trillion USD—is dependent on nature or the services it provides. Based on our landmark Financing Nature report with The Nature Conservancy and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, there is a $700 billion USD gap between what the world spends on biodiversity conservation today versus what is needed over the next decade.
This is a big number, but it is also manageable. While the biodiversity financing gap is around 1 percent of global GDP, it is less than the world spends on soft drinks in a year. There is a path forward; yet it takes significant political will. Humanity cannot wait to solve climate change before addressing the biodiversity crisis; these twin crises must be solved together.
On July 21, 2022, Edelman Global Advisory, the Paulson Institute, and the Taskforce on Nature Markets hosted a partnered webinar defining the concept of nature markets and exploring them as potential avenues to deliver net-zero, nature-positive, and equitable outcomes.
Deborah Lehr, CEO & Managing Partner at Edelman Global Advisory & Executive Director of the Paulson Institute
Andrew Deutz, Director, Global Policy, Institutions & Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy
Rose Niu, Chief Conservation Officer of the Paulson Institute
Simon Zadek, Finance for Biodiversity Chair & Co-lead of the Taskforce on Nature Markets
Executive Director of the Paulson Institute & CEO & Managing Partner at Edelman Global Advisory @DMLehr
Director, Global Policy, Institutions & Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy @DeutzinDC
Chief Conservation Officer of the Paulson Institute
Finance for Biodiversity Chair & Co-lead of the Taskforce on Nature Markets @SimonZadek