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In this article for the Guardian, Tony Juniper argues nature is not an impediment to economic success, but rather an essential prerequisite for it.


“I very much agree with George Monbiot that nature is beautiful, full of wonders and must be protected for its own sake. This is the main reason I’ve spent the last 30 years making the case for the protection of rare birds, forests, oceans, wetlands and the rest of the amazing tapestry of life that sustains us.

Considering that most people broadly agree with this basic proposition it is remarkable how we continue to tolerate widespread ecological degradation. This is not because most people are hostile to protecting nature, but more because we have fallen victim to a monumental misconception: one that is repeated regularly in politics and the media, and which is the subtext in most boardrooms.

The heart of this misconception is the idea that protecting nature is too costly, an impediment to economic growth and a barrier to competitiveness. Nature is nice, but ultimately less important than material progress, and in order to promote development some sort of balance needs to be struck – or so its narrative goes. It is in this context of balancing economic growth and intrinsic value that the battle continues to be lost. Rampant deforestation, oceanic pollution and the mass extinction of animals and plants are among the consequences.

On this much we agree. But I part company with George on how best to respond. He quite correctly points out the importance of framing but I fear that keeping nature out of the economic argument presents more dangers than benefits…”

Read on at: The Guardian