The final episode of our six-part podcast series on biodiversity looks to the future and the solutions being worked on to address current problems. Previous episodes have outlined the magnitude of the task, tackling issues such as deforestation, soil erosion and the threat of species extinction.
The podcast is hosted by Nick Spencer from Gordian Advice, a responsible investment advisory boutique, and Aofinn Devitt.
“Some companies continue to operate under the assumption that integrated reporting is a fad,” says Warren Maroun, from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. “It can take several years of hard engagement with different stakeholders, including NGOs, state and environmental experts, before you can actually see tangible results.” But, he says, corporate culture is changing.
Pek Shibao, from the climate change group at CDC, the UK government's development finance institution, outlines how an integrated approach has had a positive impact on addressing deforestation and other biodiversity issues.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen players across the financial industry – not just banks, but also asset managers and insurance providers – take note of the problem and think very seriously about how they can, not just decarbonize their lending and financial activities, but invest positively,” he says.
Professor Aled Jones, director of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, suggests the books everyone should read to understand the economics and the financial implications of biodiversity. “I'm much more hopeful than I have been in the past,” he says. “But there's is a risk when we try to do a cost-benefit analysis and put a financial value on everything that we suddenly think we've solved the problem,” he says. “We’re still only just getting started.”
As the podcast concludes, the problem of biodiversity loss requires a holistic, integrated approach that doesn't shy away from the enormity of the task ahead. As Nick adds: “The solutions outlined in this last podcast show that progress is possible. It all starts with a willingness to learn and engage.”