Our Sustainable Economy portfolio explores how to ensure economic prosperity, within the resources of one planet, addressing the issue of overconsumption of natural resources beyond their capacity to regenerate.
Biodiversity conservation is the main focus of the MAVA foundation. There are several approaches to accomplishing this. Historically the foundation has worked on a direct approach – creating, managing and restoring protected areas and threatened ecosystems in places of high conservation value, or working on the conservation of threatened species or those of particular conservation interest. We have learned that this approach, if implemented strategically and efficiently, has a tremendous impact. However, we have also found that the sustainability of all these achievements is often dependent on the political will and economic considerations that impact the success of individual projects. This entails initiatives that go beyond the geography of our priority regions, but that serve to reinforce the regional work we support as well. Addressing policy frameworks – the “rules of the game”- is therefore necessary to ensure long lasting impact of the regional projects we support. This will also provide new opportunities to affect global trends and have an impact that goes beyond our priority regions. Our “Sustainable Economy” programme thus ensures that MAVA has a coherent and comprehensive approach to biodiversity conservation.
The strategy of this programme is based on the premise that the relentless search for economic growth puts undeniable pressure on the world’s natural resources. As we deplete natural capital, the negative impact on biodiversity is significant. When natural resources become scarcer, the search for new sources includes moving into vulnerable or pristine places or using increasingly riskier methods. Both have direct impacts on biodiversity either through disruption of ecosystems due to exploration or exploitation of natural resources, or through the side-effects of pollution, chemicals or contamination. Therefore the current emphasis on ‘economic growth at all costs’ has a real and detrimental effect on the world’s biodiversity, which this programme aims to address.
Within this programme, we support initiatives working on the ‘rules of the game’ in order to:
- Promote a shift towards measuring, valuing and accounting for environmental considerations to ensure they are factored into policy, legislation and decision-making.
- Influence significant financial flows towards more sustainable management and use of natural resources.
- Promote a transition towards less resource intensive production of goods and provision of services.
- Foster a community of credible and effective actors cooperating for increased impact.