With marine science input from PML, the landmark global review “Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review”
was published today, urging a fundamental change in how society values nature.
The Dasgupta Review, which includes expert contributions from PML on ecosystem services and natural capital, is designed to assess the economic benefits of biodiversity globally, the economic costs and risks of biodiversity loss and also identify a range of actions that can simultaneously enhance biodiversity and deliver economic prosperity.
Commissioned by HM Treasury and involving participation from a wide range of environmental, economic and international development experts across the globe, the Review calls for urgent and transformative change so that nature is fully taken into account in economic decision-making and the measurement of prosperity and wealth.
The Review lead, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, commented:
“Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them. It also means accounting fully for the impact of our interactions with Nature across all levels of society. COVID-19 has shown us what can happen when we don’t do this.”
Professor Nicola Beaumont, Head of Science for Sea & Society at PML and recent appointee to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Science Committee, provided specialist input to the Review and said:
“PML welcomes this report and the message of transformative change to help protect biodiversity. Most people would agree that biodiversity is important, but exactly why it is important, beyond an intangible sense, is not always clear. The result is that when tough trade-offs have to be made, for example between development and conserving biodiversity, the more obvious and immediately rewarding development option has tended to take priority. The outcome of this is the dramatic decline in biodiversity which we have observed over recent decades.”
“We have long been aware that biodiversity provides humans with a wealth of benefits, and when it is destroyed we lose these, with an impact on our health and wellbeing, and also an impact on the health and wellbeing of future generations. The Dasgupta Review will be key in lifting the importance of biodiversity onto a level playing field with other options, in making this intangible into something tangible. As such it is hoped that this work will ensure biodiversity is taken more seriously in future decision making and as such play a role in reversing its long-time decline.”
“It is great to see that marine biodiversity is also being considered in this review and that PML’s internationally significant research can help shine a light and provide knowledge on this important issue.”