Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Julio Godoy, "Global financial crisis a bad sign for Andean biodiversity," Tierramérica, October 16, 2008.

[Pundits have chosen to see the "ballot issue" in the Canadian election as the economy over the environment. But this is a false separation. As Sir Nicholas Stern pointed out in his 700-page Review on the Economics of Climate Change, climate change is a market failure of unprecedented scale.

The World Conservation Union, referenced in this IPS article, pointed out after its Barcelona meeting this month that "biodiversity losses are not only greater than those of the current financial problems, but in many cases, they are irreparable."

The loss of rainforests in Africa and biodiversity in Somalia is seldom mentioned. Still, only about 5 percent of its original habitat remains in Somalia, now understood in the west mainly for its geostrategic position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and as a host for Islamic militants.

The IUCN meeting of 8000 delegates over 10 days "also endorsed the need to proceed with biodiversity-based climate change mitigation actions such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), as long as it remains just and equitable." -jlt]

  Announcements of millions of dollars dedicated to species conservation made by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, by the GEF, by the Living Oceans Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation have shown that more and more people understand the need to invest in conservation.

BARCELONA, Oct 16 (Tierramérica) - The crisis affecting the financial sector and stock markets around the world could fuel the expansion of extractive industries in South America's Andean region, warn experts.

Investors from the industrialised world may feel pressure to seek alternative means for financial liquidity, forced by divestment from stocks in recent weeks, Stewart Maginnis, director of forest conservation for the World Conservation Union (IUCN), told Tierramérica.

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