A new report, The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, offers a comprehensive economic framework for biodiversity. It contends that the ongoing biodiversity loss is undermining the productivity, resilience, and adaptability of nature and poses significant risks to the global economy and human well-being.
The independent review was commissioned by the UK government and led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, an emeritus professor of economics at the University of Cambridge. The report argues that “our economies are embedded within nature, not external to it” and calls for transformative change in how we think, act, and measure economic success. Based on a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem processes, the new framework details the ways in which nature should be accounted for in economics and decision-making.
“Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognizing that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them,” said Professor Dasgupta. “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.”
The review calls for significant changes centered on three broad goals:
- Ensure that humanity’s demands on nature do not exceed its sustainable supply, and that the current global supply of natural assets increase relative to its current level.
- Adopt different measures for economic success and move towards an inclusive measure of wealth that accounts for the benefits from investing in natural assets.
- Transform institutions and systems, particularly our finance and education systems, to enable and sustain these changes for future generations.