Valuing Biodiversity

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Traditional cultures put a high value on biodiversity and ecosystems, because they derive direct benefit from them (food, shelter, medicines etc). However, our industrialised civilisation has become divorced from nature and no longer values it, despite deriving huge benefit in terms of ecosystem services (clean air, water, pollination of crops etc) and providing the basis for our developed world (food and medicine). Biodiversity carries little or no economic value in our economically driven world, and therefore loses out when decisions come down to economic growth, yet we are critically endangering the very systems that support us.

How can we value biodiversity and ecosystems within the capitalist paradigm? How can we renew our contact with and appreciation of biodiversity?

How can ethics, religion, philosophy, psychology and health science reorientate our thinking on the value of biodiversity and ecosystems?

[Featured image: Photo by Nancy Bourque on]

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