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Symposium 2013

Solution for The New Economy of Nature

The Challenge

In light of declining public funds for nature conservation and in search of new investment opportunities for the private sector, water, biodiversity, soils and forests (notably their capacity for stor ...

In light of declining public funds for nature conservation and in search of new investment opportunities for the private sector, water, biodiversity, soils and forests (notably their capacity for storing CO2) are being turned into tradable goods. The prospect of going beyond compensation and actually turning nature conservation into a source of profit has captivated economists and nature conservationists alike.

Increase liquidity of public funds to protect nature by redirecting subsidies and changing the tax regime

The often cited problem of lack of public funds to fulfill manifold demands of nature protection can easily be solved: governments need to phase out subsidies that damage the climate and biodiversity, such as cash incentives aimed at encouraging the clearing of forestland for 'productive' activities such as agriculture or harmful fossil-fuel subsidies (including those for mineral fertilizer). Doing so would enable countries to meet their objectives for environment protection while saving fiscal resources. A change in the tax regime that would make it impossible for corporations to avoid taxes could equally help to increase social equality and environmental justice.

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