As part of the extended program, EcoBalance held several free lectures. A practical assignment followed the sessions, reinforcing knowledge and stimulating creative thinking. EcoBalance International School challenged participants to collaborate on a research project. They analyzed the investments in preserving biodiversity and regulating natural resource exploitation. The extract below is part of the study guided by Francesca Verones, Professor at the Industrial Ecology Programme.
Biodiversity ensures our economic wellbeing. Natural resources are limited and need time to recover from human interference. There are laws and regulations meant to compensate for the damage we produce. That ensures the management and rehabilitation of resources.
In simple terms, biodiversity is the range of species, ecosystems, and their interactions. Local and international organizations take measures to protect nature in all its forms. They thus attempt to reduce the alarming species extinction.
According to the World Economic Forum, nearly half of the global GDP relies on nature. We are currently using more natural resources at a faster pace. The results have dramatic outcomes for some species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and more delicate ecosystems. The Wildlife Fund, Fauna & Flora International, the UN Environment Program developed sustainable development strategies. Their efforts are to regulate the effects of human activity in nature.
Financing biodiversity involves a set of financial and political strategies. The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity holds the main standard for biodiversity regulations. It developed a framework to meet three main goals:
From a financial standpoint, authorities are empowered to regulate economic activities affecting the environment. Estimations show that reversing the negative effect on biodiversity would be possible. That requires a global investment of around $800 billion per year. As a result, we should observe a positive impact on biodiversity in a decade.
Industrial Ecology optimizes the industrial production processes by reducing waste. That involves creating internal processes and partnerships to use the waste in production. Instead of discarding it and affecting the environment, factories use waste as raw material for another product. Not all production facilities can keep to the zero-waste policy. For those cases, authorities apply more taxes and fines. The funds are to be reinvested into supporting biodiversity. The activity of factories is regulated through a series of acts and rules. They oblige companies to remove all harmful subsidies and comply with extraction quotas. Another practice is charging more for products that are detrimental to the environment.
Environmental fines and restrictions are meant to regulate human activities that harm nature and are hard to redress. On the other side, eco-friendly businesses receive support to keep to their practices. That includes easy access to credits, loans, equity, and grants for "green businesses." Eco-Tourism enjoys more privileges and support. These businesses aim to invest in conservation and derive profit from it. As a result, they are beneficial to both the environment and the economy. The loop of their business activity closes with zero-waste.
Conclusion: The current measures are insufficient to finance reversing the decline of biodiversity. The latest studies show that we need to act fast. Officials should implement more reforms and enforce more regulations.