CPD’s recent guest, Pavan Sukhdev – head of the UNEP Green Economy Initiative – chats with Robyn Williams about the challenges our economy faces in measuring the value of our environment.
Marine protection improves fish stocks. Female fish produce up to 100 times the eggs of smaller fish of the same species. Pavan Sukhdev says environmental services, provided by nature are not measured or accounted for in our economics. Examples of what are called these ‘externalities’ are bees for pollination, forests cleaning air and water and oceans providing fisheries. In Costa Rica, farmers have been paid to retain forests. Deforestation has stopped, water supply increased, and overall farm productivity increased downstream. In Kampala Uganda, a swamp was saved after realising it was acting as a free cleaner of sewerage. Slowly says Pavan, business is getting the message that the environment has economic value despite there being no market for environmental preservation.
Listen to Pavan consider these challenges and highlight what his work with UNEP is doing to address the economic invisibility of nature – on Radio National’s the Science Show with Robyn Williams