A major new economic report highlights the actions that countries must take to close the funding gap
Today, The Paulson Institute, The Nature Conservancy and Cornell University released a major new report, “Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap.” This is the most in-depth and comprehensive analysis ever completed about biodiversity financing. Timed in conjunction with the run-up to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the report highlights the total investment needed to fund biodiversity conservation around the world and identifies the actions that must be taken by the public and private sector in order to reach that level of investment.
Specifically, the report finds that there is a large gap between what is spent on biodiversity and the investments needed. As of 2019, the world spends between $124 and $143 billion per year on biodiversity conservation, and the report finds a necessary level of investment of between $722 and $967 billion per year.
This report complements the findings of an independent economic report from a global team of 100 scientists and economists released in July that focused on one specific part of the broader need to conserve biodiversity: the proposal to protect 30% of the planet’s land and water. This earlier report found that protecting 30% of the planet would require an investment of roughly $140 billion USD per year, compared to the roughly $24 billion currently spent.
In response to this report’s release, the Campaign for Nature has issued the following statements:
Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the author of the recently published book The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild
“This is a critical report and it has come at the perfect time. Countries around the world are working to develop an ambitious strategy to protect nature across the planet. As countries set new targets, it is imperative that they know how much funding will be needed to reach these goals.”
“Whether a new strategy to protect biodiversity will be successful will depend on whether the world invests enough in nature. Closing the financing gap will require increased funding from all sources: official development assistance, domestic governments, climate financing directed to nature-based solutions, businesses, philanthropists, and new sources of revenue or savings through regulatory and subsidy changes.
“This report shows that the funding gap is large, but that it is possible to close it. The key is that governments must lead the way, which they can do by investing more in nature and advancing new policies, incentives and disincentives to unlock private capital. This report provides an invaluable contribution to the ongoing negotiations in the Convention on Biological Diversity and we strongly urge countries to embrace and act on these findings and recommendations.”
Brain O’Donnell, Director of the Campaign for Nature
“Protecting biodiversity around the world will require dramatically increased investments. Countries must invest more in protected and conserved areas, securing land tenure rights for Indigenous Peoples, safeguarding clean water, transitioning to sustainable agriculture, and more.”
“Highlighting such large figures needed for investment can be daunting. But it is critical that countries know what investments are needed. It is also important to remember that the economic benefits that nature provides are far greater than any cost.”
“The biggest question remaining is whether world leaders will provide the necessary political will to transform our economic systems and appropriately value nature. Businesses have a major role to play in advocating for new policies and incentives that better recognize the true value of nature and that make it more profitable to protect than to destroy our natural world.”