Business, finance and economics

Human wellbeing depends on nature and economic development can no longer come at nature’s expense. IUCN works to help countries mainstream nature into economic decisions, including making the private sector part of the solution for people and nature.

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About business, finance and economics

Over half of global GDP is at risk from nature loss. Many businesses, from micro-enterprises in developing countries to large multinationals, rely on natural resources for their production as well as healthy ecosystems for clean air, water, productive soils and many other benefits. At the same time, our economies continue to inflict harm on the natural world due to the lack of financial incentives to restore, protect and conserve nature at scale.

While the private sector, including the financial community, is part of the problem, it is also increasingly becoming part of the solution. By addressing their environmental footprint and investing in nature, businesses of all sizes can identify new opportunities, respond to consumer demand for responsible behaviour, pre-empt regulation, and save costs and natural resources. Changing the economic and financial system to redirect financial flows towards nature-positive activities is imperative.

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USD 44+ trillion

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more than half of the world’s GDP is threatened by nature loss

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USD 1+ billion

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of investments guided by IUCN to ensure both people and nature benefit from the outcomes

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USD 70+ million

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invested in more than 1,200 local producers organisations through the Forest and Farm Facility

Our work

In the long term, sustainable green growth requires decoupling the economy from its adverse impacts on nature. Nature provides the basis that supports human prosperity and economic systems. The involvement of communities everywhere in the restoration and maintenance of biodiversity can itself generate human well-being and economic benefits.

- IUCN Nature 2030 Programme

To transform the way economies invest in and value nature, IUCN works with governments, civil society and businesses - small and large and across sectors - to identify how nature contributes to economies, economic activities impact biodiversity and climate, and find solutions.  

IUCN carries out independent scientific assessments and develops policies, standards and tools with public and private sectors and multi-stakeholder initiatives. We help businesses, from extractives, energy and infrastructure to finance and agriculture, including forest and farm producers organisations, investors, project developers and policymakers, implement practices that conserve nature and benefit people, whose lives and livelihoods depend on natural resources.

We also mobilise and channel finance to small and large actors to strengthen skills for biodiversity conservation, climate adaptation and mitigation, implementing Nature-based Solutions  at scale as well as contributing to more sustainable production systems.

With close to one trillion US dollars per year needed for conservation, more innovative partnerships and collective efforts are required to ensure financial flows support a nature-positive future.