I have respond to the interim report of the Dasgupta Review – the independent investigation of the economics of biodiversity. This is part of what I said:
I read your interim report with considerable interest and welcome the valuable pulling together of evidence and argument. I completely agree that it is undoubtedly the case, as you argue eloquently, that biodiversity is not just valuable, but vital to humanity at every level from populations to individuals. This is for a range of reasons stretching from the provision of ecosystem services which keep the whole show on the road, across to its contributions to individual and family well-being that accrue from the cultural services nature provides.
All this though will not be enough. The conception of Nature and our relationship with Nature has evolved over the centuries, perhaps as recently as decades, in step with the place of Nature in economic reasoning. Many view Nature almost entirely through an anthropocentric lens, even while our affection for Nature, and even our emotional attachment to it, declines. With growing urbanisation, that process of detachment can be expected to continue, perhaps even amplify. The Review concludes with a plea for a transformation of our education systems towards one where children from an early age are encouraged to try and understand the infinitely beautiful tapestry of processes and forms that is Nature. It is only when we appreciate that we are part of Nature and that Nature nurtures us that we will have fewer needs for reviews on the economics of biodiversity.