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The positions and discussions around the economic valuation of nature and the strategies of global capital to control territories and natural heritage are at the center of the focus of different networks and environmental groups who oppose these phenomena. Some of these discussions focus on whether the economic valuation of nature necessarily implies its commodification.
“For us, it is quite evident that in the current financial and economic system, the economic valuation of nature is the first stage in a process that needs to create new assets for the financial market. That is why it is a process that starts by turning territories into things that are only viewed in economic terms”, said Jutta Kill, member of the World Rainforest Movement, in an interview with Real World Radio.
In the interview conducted in Paris, France, in the framework of the meetings organized by Friends of the Earth International and allies to analyze the financialization of nature, Kill said to Real World Radio´s correspondent, Danilo Urrea, that “we are living in an economic system that requires more spaces to invest in and obtain profits, new spaces where the financial sector sees an extra value in nature”.
When analyzing the proposals where economic valuation has been presented as a strategy to counteract natural resources grabbing and privatization attempts, prioritizing the importance of keeping natural resources outside these phenomena,
Jutta highlighted that “an argument we often hear is that these will help companies and governments to see what the true value of nature is, but this is not the case. We all know, even companies and governments, what the value of land and territories is. The problem we face is that the voices that claim that land has a value for the community, even an economic value, are ignored and attacked. People lose their lives, people are murdered when they insist that nature, land and the territory have a value and cannot be destroyed. We need more visibility. We need to respect the power of communities to decide what they will do with their territories. Giving it an economic value will not help us retake this power. We need more respect to the rights of communities”, highlighted the German biologist.
The World Rainforest Movement has been one of the allies of Friends of the Earth International in the building of analyses and strategies to face, together with grassroots communities, the privatization and commodification processes, and now the financialization of nature. Kill considers that “we need to continue doing together what we are doing, giving more and more visibility to the alternatives the communities are already experiencing. We need to insist on the fact that there are many alternatives and we need to defend them and give more strength to these local economies”. “This is the huge advantage we have as networks, to exchange experiences to face the destruction that comes with this new form of financialization, to join efforts to give visibility to these mechanisms and also to the alternatives, showing that every time a project of financialization of nature advances, it destroys an alternative, a local economy that already exists. This type of meetings like the one taking place now in Paris are key to advance together in our understanding and also to support and strengthen the understanding of the communities that will be affected by these new models”, concluded Jutta Kill.
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