News September 2023

'Value crisis' at the root of biodiversity and climate emergency

A new publication in the leading scientific journal Nature, to which INBO also contributed, shows how current, narrow valuation of nature contributes to the biodiversity and climate crisis. Expressing nature in mere euros or only Red List species ignores its total value. One-sided valuations polarize discussions and block solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change.

The authors argue that decision-making based on plural values of nature is essential to addressing the global biodiversity crisis and climate emergency.

This is also true in Flanders. Our analysis shows that sticking to indicators based on economic gains on the one hand or rare species on the other ignores our society's more complex relationships with nature. For example, the recent regional debate regarding the European Nature Restoration Law illustrate that one-sided positions are counterproductive and can even hinder the realization of the law.

The INBO Nature Report 2023 also clearly shows that initiatives are more effective when diverse actors help determine the values of nature and landscape. If we want farmers, urban dwellers, entrepreneurs,... in short, a wide variety of people to join the caise for more and better nature, they must be able to determine what 'more and better nature' actually means. Simply counting euros and species will no longer solve these problems.

Sander Jacobs

Read more: (Dutch) press release adn the article in Nature (PDF-formaat)

Image above: shepherd on the Mechelse Heide (photo Yves Adams - Vildaphoto)


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