When governments make decisions, economic considerations often trump everything else — human well-being, social connections, the health of the environment. According to a new report from the United Nations, this imbalance is driving the global biodiversity crisis and the human suffering associated with it.
“Despite the diversity of nature’s values,” the report says, “most policymaking approaches have prioritized a narrow set of values at the expense of both nature and society, as well as future generations.” It calls for elected officials to take into account a much broader array of values that prioritize sustainability and human thriving.
The far-reaching assessment comes from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES. The group of 82 experts periodically collates research and makes recommendations to stem the accelerating loss of nature, much like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does for global warming.