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Preparation of annual ‘Ecology Budget’ should be mandatory for governments worldwideqrcode

Nov. 15, 2021

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Nov. 15, 2021

Imagine our world in the foreseeable future when all the chemical pesticides and farm chemicals that are known to be harmful to the natural environment, biodiversity and human health are replaced by biological products that are friendlier to the natural environment, biodiversity, and human health! This is what success looks like to the World BioProtection Forum (WBF). 

The WBF is a nature positive organisation, which is dedicated to helping businesses and governments in making a shift towards biological control of plant pests and diseases in agriculture. This shift towards biologicals will continue to enhance the productivity of agriculture, while safeguarding our natural resources from abiotic and biotic stresses. A successful outcome, as viewed by the WBF, will be positive on the economy as well as the ecology of nations, worldwide. 

While we are accustomed to hearing about the status of the economy of nations through their governments’ annual budgets, these budgets generally provide minimal or no information on the ecology of a nation.  A government budget typically includes a financial plan with income and expenditure statements – let me call it an ‘Economy Budget’. There is also a compelling need for governments to prepare and present an annual ‘Ecology Budget’ in addition to the ‘Economy Budget’. This will help to assess the impact of the Economy Budget on our natural resources, which are vital for our health and well-being. 

To the best of my knowledge, no countries have yet adopted the practice of presenting annual ecology data. Without Ecology Budgets, governments cannot achieve a full understanding of how their nations are using and impacting their natural resources, such as clean air, water, biodiversity, land, and ocean health. Ecology Budgets would enable people to comprehend the ecological footprint of their nations’ plans and activities.

It is my viewpoint that it should be a mandatory requirement for governments to present a comprehensive annual Ecology Budget. This would include information about the value and status of natural resources, annual consumption of these resources, their capacity to regenerate and sustainably meet demand, and the actions being taken or planned to efficiently manage them. It would enable us to know if we use more resources than nature can regenerate in a year. It would aid in tracking the health and wellbeing of natural resources, and how government actions and plans are impacting them. In turn, this should help in designing polices that deliver a range of environmental and economic benefits. 

Without an Ecology Budget obligation, governments will continue to focus on economic benefits, undermining the value of natural resources and the necessity to conserve them for present and future generation. We need to correct our current global economic growth reporting system as it does not adequately record the impact of our economic activities on the environment. Economic growth at the cost of the degradation of natural capital, and the health of the environment, is simply unacceptable. 

In summary, I believe it is time for governments to commit to preparing Ecology Budgets annually. I would like to see this concept paper start a productive dialogue about how this could be achieved, and how academia and NGOs (like the World BioProtection Forum) can contribute to the development of such initiatives. Providers of green technologies stand poised to help make significant positive contributions to the Economy as well as the Ecology of their nations. Let us work together to protect our planet, for it is only when we invest in protecting humanity that we will see the greatest returns. 

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