1. Agriculture World

Value of Nature Must not be Compromised in Pursuit of Short-Term Profit: UN Report

Report said "recognizing and respecting indigenous peoples' and local communities' worldviews, values, and traditional knowledge allows policies to be more inclusive, which also translates into better outcomes for people and nature."

Shivam Dwivedi
You can find beauty everywhere if you love nature!!
You can find beauty everywhere if you love nature!!

The values we ascribe to nature are critical components of our cultures, identities, economies, and ways of life, and should be reflected in policy decisions affecting our natural world, according to a new UN-backed report.  However, according to the new Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessment report, there is too much global focus on short-term profits and economic growth, which often undervalues nature, when making policy decisions.

Co-chairs Unai Pascual, Patricia Balvanera, Mike Christie, and Brigitte Baptiste noted in the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature report, which was approved by representatives from the 139 Member States, that ways of preventing power irregularities and embedding nature into policymaking are "in short supply."

Report Findings:

While economic and political decisions have primarily prioritized market-based nature values, such as intensive food production, they have failed to adequately reflect how changes in the natural world affect people's quality of life.

Furthermore, many non-market values associated with nature's contributions to communities, such as climate regulation and cultural identity, are overlooked in policymaking.

"Only 2% of the more than 1,000 studies reviewed consult stakeholders on valuation findings, and only 1% of the studies involved stakeholders in every step of the nature valuation process," they explained.

According to the report, "living from, with, in, and as nature" means providing resources that sustain people's livelihoods, needs, and desires, such as food and material goods. It also emphasizes non-human life, such as fish in a river's inherent right to "thrive independently of human needs," and regards the natural world as a "physical, mental, and spiritual part of oneself."

"The Values Assessment gives decision-makers concrete tools and methods to better understand the values that individuals and communities have about nature," Balvanera said.

According to Christie, "valuation is an explicit and intentional process" that is dependent on "how, why, and by whom" the valuation is "designed and applied."

Following this logic, Baptiste added that "recognizing and respecting indigenous peoples' and local communities' worldviews, values, and traditional knowledge allows policies to be more inclusive, which also translates into better outcomes for people and nature."

The report identified four value-centered "leverage points" for fostering transformative change focused on sustainability and justice. The paths range from recognizing nature's diverse values to incorporating valuation into decision-making and policy reform in order to align with global sustainability and justice goals.

Despite having different values, "they share principles aligned with sustainability," according to Pascual.

"Biodiversity is disappearing, and nature's contributions to people are deteriorating faster than at any other time in human history," said Ana Mara Hernández Salgar, Chair of IPBES. "This is largely due to the fact that our current approach to political and economic decisions fails to adequately account for the diversity of nature's values."

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