World Leaders' Dialogues
Ante Up – money matters and the value of parks
November 14, 2014; 5:30 – 7:00 pm
© Luka Dakskobler
The world’s ecosystems are succumbing to pressure from human activities: 60% of the planet’s ecosystem services have been degraded over the past 50 years. In response, the concept of ‘natural capital’ has emerged to capture the multiple values of biodiversity and ecosystems for people. To safeguard this capital, many studies demonstrate the urgency to advance on sustainable finance mechanisms, yet some object to ‘putting a price’ on nature, arguing ecosystems are not ‘for sale’ like any another commodity. Notwithstanding, protected areas are at the cornerstone of possible new financial mechanisms as their benefits greatly exceed the cost of establishing and effectively managing them. However, the financial value and return on investment that protected areas offer to economic development has yet to be fully understood and integrated into financial planning, as well as business and investment decisions. This World Leaders’ Dialogue is aimed at furthering the search for new forms of sustainable financing for, and from, protected areas, by exploring different mechanisms, such as the payment for ecosystem services schemes, trust funds and green taxes.