Question: Should A Country’s Wealth Be Determined By The Health Of Its Natural Resources?

This is the query that economists, environmental advocates and citizens alike have been asking for a while. And the answer so far seems to be “yeah, partly.”

A flawed system lead us here

You may have heard the adage that under the current economic system, a tree only really has value after it has been cut down.

This is obviously problematic when one considers that old, standing, living trees are incredibly valuable for creatures that do things like, y’know, breathe.

We can fix the system by changing what we consider to be assets

And given that this flawed economic system is what has lead us to where we’re at today, it may come as a surprise that recently, economics are being put forward as part of the solution for regenerating planet Earth.

  • The big idea is that an economy’s wealth should be measured, at least in part, by the health of its natural resources, and to create a system that encourages us to protect and value nature. David Suzuki Foundation

We need to revamp and redefine how we think of wealth—and our environment—and find a way to reward countries and regions that protect the planet.

Invest in needs, not just wants

Humanity depends on the earth’s ability to provide the resources we need: food, clean air, and water. No surprises there!

But current economic systems (we’re looking at you, GDP!) don’t account for the health of our needs, which often get damaged while creating things we may only want.

  • The current rate of production makes it a challenge for the Earth to regenerate its natural resources, and makes it difficult to financially justify protecting natural resources

The simple takeaway

Humanity could protect the earth’s ecosystems by making them a part of our economic health measurements.

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