This week’s UN summit on biodiversity ended with some hopeful results but there is still a lack of full awareness that protecting the planet’s eco-systems is much more than a moral obligation.
“We have a moral obligation to be careful stewards of the planet for future generations”, said EU Commission President Barroso in his speech to the Bonn biodiversity conference on 28 May. I disagree, Mr. President, morality as you know quite well risks being quickly forgotten in times of crisis. “Erst kommt das Fressen und dann die Moral”, remember. When governments have to choose between economic growth and biodiversity protection they will still make the wrong choices.
They should not, as biodiversity and our eco-systems are essential to the development of our economies. No successful Lisbon agenda without a strong and decisive ecological sustainability basis, Mr. Barroso. You might want to “re-review” your Gothenburg Sustainable Development strategy to confirm this basic economic truth.
We don’t even need valuation studies such as the excellent report “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” which was presented in Bonn this week. According to this report, the economic benefits generated by the worlds’ protected areas are worth more than $5 billion annually. This is probably even a gross underestimation if you would take into consideration all the eco-system services our planet provides.
So strong ecological policies are just pure economic self-interest, Mr. President. Maybe you should visit your own Green Week next week to learn more 🙂
- Deutsche Welle: Interview with Pavan Sukhdev, the author of the biodiversity report.