I was recently invited by the Coalition for Conservation (C4C) to join a webinar with the Hon James Griffin MP on Monday 21st March on the NSW State of the Environment (SOE) report. I took the opportunity to discuss private and public sector responses to biodiversity loss, and highlighted evidence that biodiversity loss needs billions of dollars, not millions, to effectively solve.
Thanks to Cristina Talacko, Chair of C4C for this summary of my presentation:
Dr Megan Evans, a lecturer in Public Sector Management at UNSW Canberra who holds an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship to examine the growth of private sector investment in biodiversity and natural capital, identified habitat loss as the greatest threat to biodiversity.
Dr Evans referred to the ACSI (Australian Council of Superannuation Investors) report outlining that by 2050 nature loss could cost the Australian economy up to $27 billion annually. She highlighted the emerging interest of the private sector not only in climate risk but also nature risk and identified the role this sector can play in topping up government funding to assist in achieving required levels.
She revealed that the clearest finding in the NSW SOE report for her “was not in the biodiversity chapter, but in the land chapter”, singling out the loss of habitat occurring due to the rise in clearing of woody vegetation (an average of 35,000 ha per year from 2017 to 2019 as opposed to an average of 13,000 ha per year from 2009 to 2015) as her greatest concern.