The rise of a whole range of possible solutions for combating climate change has resulted in a large rise in interest from visionary investors who have found new niches in the market: the expansion in alternative technologies, the ecosystem services market, the integration of extreme poverty into consumerism where new clients and products become another part of business. Demand increases and our society continues to relentlessly exploit the planet, generating new needs and increasing the voracity of our society and its damaging materialistic values, habits and practices that have taken us to this point of no return. It seems that this has not been taken into account. We continue fixed on our ambitions with no transformation in our decadent society which fails to appreciate the value of Nature and the innumerable services it provides us with. The current market system has permeated our most intimate spirituality, worshipping a cruel god that demands profit, dehumanizing possessions, delinking us from the true meaning of Life.
In this context we talk about a top-down green economy, that of big business and investments and as well as other things, viewing extreme poverty as a huge market which must be integrated into the global market for the new demands and necessities that go with a better quality of life.
From the bottom up, for the first time, 300 million people in extreme poverty in rural areas with high biodiversity, owners and users of forests and jungles who subsist in highly marginalized conditions have in their hands global values that today are indispensable.
The fabric of nature and the immeasurable vital services which sustain life with their intricate processes of auto regulation, are safeguarded in these regions where nature promptly carries out its vital functions and where rural communities are the operator-users of the natural capital, the substance of the economy of the planet.
The highest values of life on the planet have been made vulnerable through highly damaging public policies and exploitation practices, science at the service of the market, ignorance from the lowest levels to the highest. These have been exchanged for passing pleasures, compromising nature’s complex processes and with them the survival of our blind society, which has assigned value to that which is material and disregarded as an illusion that which is real.
Forests and jungles have been exploited without achieving a better quality of life for local communities: forests without economic benefits for their owners are forests at risk. Nowadays on this planet a standing forest is worth much more than any conventional exploitation. Restoration must be carried out to increase the resilience of ecosystems faced by the urgent global priority of local populations that have to be answered to and compensated for the services their land provides.
Finally we have reached the point at which it is urgent to generate an economy in which ecosystem services and the biodiversity that is contained in them should have an economic value as goods and services. We have exploited without sparing a thought for the biological kinship of the planet to whom we owe our existence and to which we belong. Through compensation payments, global and local mechanisms can be implemented that will mean that instead of exploiting, we will be preserving, restoring and conserving the biological capabilities of our natural heritage.
The moment has arrived for re-evaluating our relationship with natural capital and at the same time combating and mitigating the effects of global climate change while alleviating the poverty of the landowners. It is they who have the solution in their hands through a range of mitigation practices that can help to significantly decrease concentrations of carbon dioxide by managing reforestations, induced natural regeneration or holistic livestock management. The conservation of forests and carbon storage will be part of the responsibilities land owners where the poorest are now providers of ecosystems services and obtain economic benefits from their Natural Capital. This is our proposal, one that goes from the bottom up and is an elemental part of a social and environmental justice.