CBD COP11: Nature is priceless, but pricing it might just save it

Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (12/10/2012) – Dr Jane Smart, Global Director of IUCN, describes the work still to be done after agreement of the Nagoya Protocol at the last CBD COP.

Smart describes Nagoya as a ‘big plan to save nature’ but highlights that there is unfinished business, especially regarding how the measures mandated in Nagoya will be financed.

Smart comments that the economic crisis in Europe and beyond has made it much harder to increase flows of aid – including for conservation work – from the Global North to the Global South. She describes finance discusses at the biodiversity negotiations as ‘logjammed’.

Smart is quick to offer some alternative options: governments could change procurement policies to favour sustainably produced goods and the value of ecosystem services could be included in national accounting. She recognises that this approach – dubbed by its opponents as ‘putting a price on nature’ – is controversial but maintains that pricing ecosystem services can be a useful tool to give money back to those who look after nature.