Why companies should help pay for the biodiversity that’s good for their bottom line

Date: November 30, 2018

Source: The Conversation
Author: Joanne Burgess and Edward Barbier

In the “The Lorax,” an entrepreneur regrets wiping out all the make-believe truffala trees by chopping them down to maximize his short-term gains. As the Dr. Seuss tale ends, the Once-ler – the man responsible for this environmental tragedy – tells a young child that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Likewise, many corporations that profit from nature’s bounty, such as Unilever, Patagonia and Interfaceappear to be reaching a similar conclusion. They are realizing that it’s time for the business world to do more about conservation.

We, two economists who have extensively researched natural resources and development, are proposing a new way to solve the problem of species and ecosystem loss. Corporations that benefit from biodiversity could forge what some are calling a “new deal for nature” by paying part of the tab for biodiversity conservation.

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