The Ecologist

News web pic 2_256.jpg
More articles about
Related Articles

Our natural resources need to be managed locally, says report


8th May, 2007

Local communities should have a right in determining access to and use of natural resources, a report from think-tank the World Resources Institute (WRI) has said.

By increasing the availability of information on ecosystem services and managing decisions which affect the natural world at both local, regional, national and international levels, the authors of 'Restoring Nature's Capital' argue that the environment can managed more like a 'trust fund' that a current account with a large overdraft.

The work of 17 contributing authors, the report states that ecosystems have for too long been taken for granted whilst economic assessments are made of other social costs:
'If it is helpful to consider our natural resource base as capital assets, it is fair to say that the [Millenium Ecosystem] Assessment demonstrates that humanity has been squandering these assets at a quickening pace. In fact, we have treated many of these assets as if they had no value.'

Continuing the economic metaphor, the researchers point to the demise of power giant Enron as a 'painful reminder' of 'keeping key assets and liabilities off the balance sheet'.

Jonathan Lash, President of the WRI, said that the recognition of climate change has made the responsible stewardship of the environment all the more pressing:
'We must urgently expand the climate debate beyond reducing greenhouse gases to focus on how climate change is altering ecosystem services,' he said at the launch of the report.

Janet Ranganathan, one of the report's lead authors, said that 'business as usual in no longer an option':
'The time has come to stop operating Planet Earth Ltd. solely for the purpose of making a few shareholders rich in the short term," she said, "and instead manage it as a family trust fund, set up for the benefit of today's and tomorrow's children,' she said.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007


Previous Articles...


Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...




Help us keep the Ecologist platform going

Since 2012, the Ecologist has been owned and published by a small UK-based charity called the Resurgence Trust. We work hard to support the kind of independent journalism and comment that we know Ecologist readers enjoy but we need your help to keep going. We do all this on a very small budget with a very small editorial team and so joining the Trust or making a donation will show us you value our work and support the platform which is currently offered as a free service.

Join The Resurgence TrustDonate to support the Resurgence Trust