March 31, 2022

NEW PAPER: The Future of Nature Markets

‘The Future of Nature Markets’​ establishes where we are in the evolution of nature markets, a work-in-progress framework of their various forms, and areas that need to be addressed in ensuring that nature markets deliver equitable, nature positive outcomes.

Cover for a whitepaper Future of Nature Markets

Connecting the words ‘nature' and ‘markets' is a challenging undertaking. Nature plays a pivotal role in sustaining life on our planet and addressing the climate crises. Less visible is the simple truth that 100% of the global economy is 100% dependent on nature. Nevertheless, markets, trade and the global economy have historically under-priced nature and the distribution of economic gains from its use, leading to its unsustainable exploitation, associated injustice and inequitable outcomes. Faced with such facts, it is tragic that much of today’s debate on this topic reinforces polarised positions rather than supporting a reconfiguration of the nexus between nature and economy in equitable, sustainable ways.

Today, a confluence of forces are leading to a surge in the monetarisation of nature, as its services - such as carbon storage - are increasingly valued. This shift is at an early stage and could be harnessed alongside other all-important approaches to valuing and stewarding nature. New nature markets could deliver new nature positive products, engaging and benefiting public and private actors, including local and indigenous communities. Getting them right will not, however, happen automatically, as history amply demonstrates. A conscious, collective endeavour is needed to design and then govern these markets in ways that ensure that they deliver long-term public goods as well as short-term private gains. In doing so, this will help transform the practice and behaviour of the market to recognise the value of nature and its stewards, and to, therefore, integrate them into its core.

This paper is a contribution to the Taskforce on Nature Markets that has been established with the aim of shaping a new generation of purposeful nature markets that deliver nature positive and equitable outcomes. Our Call to Action is to those diverse communities that must be part of any sustainable solution: from investors, consumers and academia, to fishing communities and indigenous leaders, to policy makers and regulators, human rights activists and civil society at large, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders.

The Taskforce aims to, and can, make a meaningful contribution, working with many partners and allies, to find ways of activating these communities towards collaborative, ambitious action. In this context, this paper is an invitation to those who care and can make a difference - everyone - to contribute to the work of the Taskforce in offering insights and capabilities in developing the right nature markets needed to deliver a sustainable future for all. Read, comment, join us.

Ralph Chami, Senior Advisor, Taskforce on Nature Markets

Marcelo Furtado, Principal, Finance for Biodiversity and Co-lead of the Secretariat, Taskforce on Nature Markets

Simon Zadek, Chair, Finance for Biodiversity and Co-lead of the Secretariat, Taskforce on Nature Markets

White Paper - The Future of Nature Markets (English)

White Paper - The Future of Nature Markets (Portuguese)

Summary - The Future of Nature Markets