Given Australia’s rich natural endowment, Northern Territory GP Dr Rosalie Schultz asks: why was Australia missing in action during the recent United Nations Biodiversity Summit? If, as our representatives stated at the Summit, we cannot adopt biodiversity protection because it is inconsistent with our policy direction, then we must urgently change course.
Focusing on the costs of protecting biodiversity, overlooks the cost of biodiversity loss.
These will be borne by future generations, and other species.
Australia’s focus on the monetary aspect of biodiversity protection is like demanding a ledger on vaccination or clean water. Both are life-giving interventions, with estimated benefits around 10 times the financial outlay.
Furthermore, fiscal measures — whether for vaccination, clean water or biodiversity conservation — can never adequately account for the social and intangible benefits of healthy children and communities.
Australia must stop being an outlier on biodiversity protections and join the opportunity for collective transformation.
Read the full article which was published on 12 October 2020 in Croakey
For further reading on biodiversity, visit https://dea.org.au/biodiversity/