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Beyond The Gap: Placing Biodiversity Finance in the Global Economy

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  • Patrick Bigger
  • Jens Christiansen
  • Jessica Dempsey
  • DiSilvestro DiSilvestro
  • Audrey Irvine-Broque
  • Sara Nelson
  • Fernanda Rojas-Marchini
  • Andrew Schuldt
  • Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza
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Abstract

Governments and conservation organisations often point to a large gap between existing financial resources and the resources needed to achieve biodiversity objectives. But the gap is almost always presented without context, as though biodiversity loss will be resolved through increased funding alone. To illuminate crucial pathways for transformative change, this report examines the political and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss. “Beyond the gap: placing biodiversity finance in the global economy” addresses two questions: how does the organization of the global economy drive biodiversity loss, and how has existing biodiversity finance performed? Trade, investment and financial regulation (or lack thereof), global economic pressures that push biodiverse countries into debt, and inequality across racialized, gender, class and colonial lines, all drive biodiversity loss and require urgent attention. Instead of transformation, a series of voluntary measures and market-based mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem services or blended finance schemes have been presented as tools to span the resource gap. This report shows that these efforts are marginal at best, and, at worst, entrench the power of rich world governments and non-state institutions like banks, large international NGOs, and supranationals. It is apparent that we must move “beyond the gap”. Only by placing biodiversity loss in the global economy will it be possible to realize transformative, inclusive and equitable change. The authors offer concrete recommendations for negotiators, civil society organizations, and activist groups to push questions of biodiversity finance beyond the gap.