Is the value of nature essential and irreplaceable to human wellbeing? Last night, panelists at the World Leaders Dialogue discussed the crucial question: why bother saving nature? The final session, which was the culmination of the four previous dialogues, was moderated by Rafael Méndez, a journalist at El País, and focused on the importance of protecting, managing and governing nature and its benefits.
Prominent thought leaders, including Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Environment Agency; Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias, Secretary General, Convention on Biological Diversity; Mr. André Hoffmann, President, MAVA Foundation; and Dr. Young Sook Yoo, Minister of Environment, Korea; weighed in on the significance of nature. The dialogue also featured a rousing video message by Sir Richard Branson, CEO, Virgin Group.
“We need to convince people of the value of nature—individuals do not see themselves as part of the problem,” says Ferreira De Souza Dias. “We don’t have the right to destroy nature.”
Biological diversity provides food security, human health, clean air and water. It contributes directly to local livelihoods and economic development. Yesterday’s Dialogue participants emphasized that conserving biodiversity is not a sacrifice, but an opportunity that brings a multitude of benefits to the whole world.
“Humanity needs to come together now, we are losing millions of dollars worth of natural capital,” says Branson. “We need to listen to the greatest entrepreneur of all time—mother nature.”