This article was originally published on The Nature Conservancy.


“As the world grapples with both the health and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to say we can’t afford to worry about nature right now. But the cost of doing nothing—in both economic and planetary health terms—is far greater. In fact, research from the World Economic Forum shows that around half gross world product is highly or moderately dependent on nature.

We cannot have healthy, prosperous societies if we don’t protect the natural systems on which they depend. To achieve this in the long-term, we need a transformational shift in how we value nature in our economies. However, this won’t happen overnight—in the meantime, we must scale up how much we spend on protecting nature to slow and halt biodiversity loss.

n order to sufficiently fund the protection of nature, we need to know exactly how much we’re currently spending—and how much more is needed. In essence, we need to determine what our nature funding gap looks like. The Nature Conservancy, the Paulson Institute and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability took a deep look at these numbers as part of our new report, “Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap”.

We estimate that in 2019, the world spent between US$124 and US$143 billion per year on activities that benefit nature worldwide. This represents a near-tripling in funding since 2012—but it’s still not nearly enough. Annual government spending on agricultural, forestry and fisheries  subsidies that degrade nature is up to four times higher than spending that benefits nature.

To reverse the decline in biodiversity by 2030, we need to be spending US$722-967 billion per year. That puts the nature funding gap as high as US$824 billion per year.

Read on at: The Nature Conservancy