Nature underpins everything – from the places we live and the food we eat, to the economies we’re part of. We’re advocating for an economic system that recognises nature’s true value.
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A Nature Positive economy
Investing in nature
The UK Government has made it an ambition to achieve a Nature Positive future – halting nature loss by 2030 and recovering nature by 2050. We want to make sure this goal becomes a reality. Tools like law, regulation and tax can help, but the government also needs to spend enough on nature.
A 2021 estimate suggests that the total UK environmental funding for the next decade is falling short of what is needed for a Nature Positive future by around £5.6bn a year. Meanwhile, the RSPB estimates that for biodiversity goals alone, the current shortfall is at £1.2bn a year.
But to protect and restore nature, we need more than just government funding. Building robust high integrity environmental markets is crucial to driving private investment, which is why the RSPB is actively involved in nature, carbon, biodiversity net gain, and other markets to elevate standards and share best practices, ensuring these markets genuinely benefit nature.
Greening public investment
The government spends significant amounts of money on public investment. The challenge is to make sure it really works for nature. We're pushing for effective checks on public investment, as well as changes to the guidance on how this money is spent.
We will also be encouraging government to bring forward clear rules for investment in the wider economy and private sector, including the need to report impacts on nature and properly measure them. We are building alliances with progressive investors and civil society organisations that are prepared to act and call on government, as well as mainstream corporate and financial players, to make the changes required to put nature at the heart of our economy.
Helping business work for nature
Key sectors of the economy have a crucial part to play in ensuring that nature thrives. Not just for nature’s sake, but for the wellbeing of society and to make sure businesses have a long-term future.
To be Nature Positive, a business must be able to demonstrate how their impacts on nature are being fully accounted for in their decision-making, and that they are making the necessary changes to their working practices to ensure that nature is being protected and restored across all activities.
When it comes to specifics, Nature Positive will mean different things for different sectors, and so the Nature Positive movement must be flexible and adaptive, driven by evidence, built collaboratively with all stakeholders, and imbued with a sense of urgency.
Nature Positive at the local level
Local places are essential to recovering nature across the UK. Not only because wildlife and biodiversity are specific to place, but because local people, communities, businesses, and governments are key to delivering the changes nature needs.
By working at both local and national levels, we advocate for more spending on nature and genuine benefits for local economies. We also work to ensure other forms of local spending – by businesses, government or consumers – can help nature thrive. Nature and place are more connected than ever.
Local decisions on economic activities and land and water management are also crucial to achieving national goals and priorities. The RSPB draws on its knowledge and experience of working in local places with local communities to highlight how nature can help people live rich and rewarding lives. We work across the UK, recognising local concerns and identities while finding lessons we can all learn.