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News at Brighter Green

Brighter Green Releases Summary on Forthcoming Nature's Rights Paper 10/14/14

Brighter Green released a summary of a forthcoming nature's rights paper entitled Nature's Rights: Rivers, Trees, Whales, and Apes.

Jim Harkness Positively Reviews "What's For Dinner?" 10/6/14

Jim Harkness Senior Advisor on China at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy positively reviews "What's For Dinner?" and interviews Executive Director Mia MacDonald.

Brighter Green Associate Interviewed by "Eating Animals" Director, Christopher Quinn 9/29/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Eating Animals director Christopher Quinn. BG also provided Mr. Quinn Chinese contacts, including What's For Dinner? director Jian Yi, for the film.

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou interviewed by Our Hen House 7/23/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Our Hen House on Brighter Green's What's For Dinner? and China screening tour in June and July 2014.

Brighter Green and Partner Global Forest Coalition Published in "Square Brackets" 7/1/14

Brighter Green and partner Global Forest Coalition published their article "Implementing Aichi Target 3 in the livestock sector" in "Square Brackets: CBD Newsletter for Civil Society".

Brighter Green Releases June 2014 Newsletter 6/27/14

Brighter Green releases its June 2014 newsletter highlighting achievements and events in the first part of 2014. You can view the newsletter here.

Brighter Green Launches "What's For Dinner?" China Screening Tour 6/15/14

Brighter Green launches the China tour of the short documentary film "What's For Dinner?". The film is screened in multiple cities through July 2014 and provinces including Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhejiang province. To learn more please click here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption 6/11/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou presented her paper, "The Triangle: Factory Farming in the U.S., China and Brazil" in Shanghai, China at the Global Research Forum on Production and Consumption.

BG Partner Global Forest Coalition Releases Paraguayan Case Study 5/22/14

Brighter Green partner Global Forest Coalition publishes Paraguayan case study on the environmental and social impacts of unsustainable livestock and soybean production.

Brighter Green and Global Forest Coalition New Report and Briefing Paper 5/22/14

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition announce the release of a new report and briefing paper on redirecting government support for unsustainable livestock production as the key to biodiversity conservation.

Brighter Green Appears in the Scientific American Magazine 5/20/14

The Scientific American article "China's Appetite for Meat Swells, Along with Climate Changing Pollution" references Brighter Green research as well as quotes Executive Director Mia MacDonald and Associate Wanqing Zhou.

What's For Dinner? Page on Icarus Website 5/9/14

Brighter Green's short documentary film What's For Dinner? is now featured on Icarus Films' website, WFD's North American distributor. Visit the website for more information on screening or purchasing the film.

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Putting a Price Tag on Nature

November 11, 2010 2:26pm

Burning Amazon to make way for agriculture

Adopted by the UN in 1966, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights created a framework for self determination, stating that all people have the right to the means of economic production, which can be achieved by "freely dispos[ing] of their natural wealth and resources."

This phrase captures the prevailing attitude that humans have had towards the natural world since, perhaps, the industrial revolution, where nature's bounty is seen simply as a resource for humans to exploit, and later dispose of once exhausted. It is precisely this commodification of nature that Evo Morales and the Indigenous Environmental Movement are rallying against, calling instead for an International Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. This movement will be present at the upcoming Cancun Climate Conference, where delegation members will be urging global leaders to combat climate change by recognizing the inalienable rights of pachamama, or Mother Earth.

For those leaders unable to reconcile themselves to this indigenous, holistic mindset, the Teeb project might offer a more palatable alternative. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Teeb) project is a three year study that aims to promote conservation and environmental stewardship by monetizing ecosystem services. At the recently convened Biodiversity Meeting hosted by the UN in Nagoya, Japan, representatives of the Teeb project unveiled their findings, which included an analysis that the value of ecological services - such as water purification, crop pollination, and climate regulation - being lost globally as a result of environmental degradation totals $2-5 trillion dollars a year. The idea behind this project is that countries have little incentive to curtail their environmentally reprehensible behavior if they do not understand the monetary cost of their actions.

The Teeb Project is now calling on individual nations to conduct their own studies, and will be present in Cancun to help mainstream the economics of nature. According to representatives from the Indian and Brazilian environment ministries, these superpowers are now pursuing national economic assessments according to the Teeb model. With both countries attempting to green their economies, it remains an open question if either will chart a new course once the environmental cost of industrial animal agriculture - a cornerstone of both economies - is monetized and made clear to all.