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News at Brighter Green

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Quoted in Civil Eats Article 1/26/15

Executive Director Mia MacDonald was quoted in Advisory Board member Anna Lappe's article on Chatham House's recent study on peoples' understanding of climate change and food, particularly meat production. You can view the Civil Eats article here.

New Report Released by Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition on the Unsustainable Impacts of Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay 1/22/15

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition, published a new report entitled, "Meat from a Landscape Under Threat: Testimonies of the Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay". You can access the report here.

Brighter Green Featured in NYC Meatless Monday Press Release 1/22/15

Brighter Green and Executive Director Mia MacDonald were featured in NYC City Council Representative Helen Rosenthal's press release on the push for NYC to adopt the Meatless Monday campaign.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Appears on Our Hen House's Highlight Reel Podcast Episode 1/10/15

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald appears on Our Hen House's highlight reel episode on January 10th. The original TV episode can be viewed here.

East African Girls' Leadership Initiative Program Update 1/10/15

Brighter Green and Tribal Link released a January Program Update on the East African Girls' Leadership Initiative. You can access it here.

Brighter Green and Humane Society International Publish COP 20 Policy Recommendations 12/4/14

Brighter Green and Humane Society International published a policy recommendation document on animal agriculture and climate change for the COP 20 meeting in Lima, Peru. You can access the document here.

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.

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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.