Towards a nature positive economic recovery post COVID-19


This online event on Tuesday, 23 November shared emerging insights from a global analysis on integrating nature into COVID-19 recovery plans and budgets.

Last updated 26 November 2021
Waterfalls surrounded by nature.

Murchison Falls, Uganda. Close to one-third of wealth in low-income countries such as Uganda comes from natural capital (Photo: Rod Waddington via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0)

Without clean water, air and productive and healthy soils, our economies and our societies cannot function. Natural capital is declining globally at unprecedented rates with grave impacts on people around the world, yet our economies are blind to their dependence on nature.

This online event explored how countries can sustain and conserve nature in their COVID-19 recovery strategies to build back fairer, greener and with nature.

Over half of global gross domestic product (GDP) is dependent on nature. Yet a staggering one fifth of countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing due to a decline in biodiversity and related ecosystem services. More than one billion jobs globally depend on healthy and functioning ecosystems.

The degradation of nature is a pressing social, economic and environmental concern, which impacts poor and vulnerable communities. While we have made strides in integrating nature in economic policy, and increasingly in climate policy, for the most part investing in nature and biodiversity remains marginal to economic decision-making, including planning, budgeting and investment processes.

The most high-profile economic decision-making currently relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite growing evidence that investing in nature is an economic winner, much of the public spending deployed for the COVID-19 recovery has not been adequately green and largely under-invests in nature.

At this IIED Debates event co-hosted with the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), participants heard emerging insights from a global analysis on integrating nature into COVID-19 recovery plans and budgets.

By sharing findings from country case studies in Brazil, France, India and Uganda under the 'Economics for Nature' project, the panel discussed tangible nature positive and nature negative actions and recommendations for investing in nature as part of COVID-19 recovery.

About the speakers

Event coverage

A recording of the event is available below or on IIED's YouTube channel, where you can also find links to take you straight to the contributions of each of the key speakers.

About IIED Debates

This event was part of the IIED Debates series. Through the convening of expert speakers and external stakeholders, IIED brings together an international community to discuss critical issues.

IIED Debates encompass both physical and digital events, including critical themes, breakfast debriefs and webinars. These events are public and are hosted regularly throughout the year online and when possible in our London and Edinburgh offices.

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Juliette Tunstall ([email protected]), IIED's internal engagement and external events office