Updated: Feb 18, 2021
The monetization of nature is happening. The economic value of biodiversity, carbon drawdown, land and soil regeneration is being accounted for and financialized. This is a double-edged sword.
In many ways, this true-cost accounting, that is, accounting for the very real value of the natural world around us and the natural resources we depend on, is long overdue. It allows us to garner the economic resources needed to save what remaining nature and biodiversity we have. It gives us the potential to increase tree-cover, biodiversity and soil health. It may allow us the resources needed to save the planet and our future on it.
But it also ushers in the possibility for another reality. One where big money is land grabbing, creating monoculture forests for their carbon drawdown and carbon credit potential, actually creating biodiversity deserts. This is the privatization of nature, and the only way it can be halted is by empowering individuals to be custodians of their own space, to create models for the sequestration that we need to be facilitated without the transfer of land rights.
Nature, and human wellness, these two invaluable resources that have for so long been external to our economic system, are becoming internalized within it. If we are not vigilant about the way they are internalized, and we are not remaking the economic system they are internalized to, we are simply continuing a colonial economic model of extraction.
We have to break this extractive colonial model, or else individuals will be pushed into poverty and corporations will own vast tracts of land, will have ownership of nature, in the name of saving our climate.
We believe collective action is the answer. If we invest collectively in regenerating land and the people who own, work and live on that land, we can stop this extractive mindset from creating more oppression in the name of carbon drawdown. Our collective power can create abundance for everyone from the value of regenerative agriculture, carbon sequestration and biodiversity regeneration. It can create models for a sustainable future that belongs to us all.