A global conservation basic income to safeguard biodiversity

de Lange, E., Sze, J.S., Allan, J. et al. | Nat Sustain (2023). | 2023 | Peer Reviewed | Perspective| Review | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-023-01115-7


Biodiversity conservation supporting a global sustainability transformation must be inclusive, equitable, just and embrace plural values. The conservation basic income (CBI), a proposed unconditional cash transfer to individuals residing in important conservation areas, is a potentially powerful mechanism for facilitating this radical shift in conservation. This analysis provides comprehensive projections for potential gross costs of global CBI using spatial analyses of three plausible future conservation scenarios. Gross costs vary widely, depending on the areas and populations included, from US$351 billion to US$6.73 trillion annually. A US$5.50 per day CBI in existing protected areas in low- and middle-income countries would cost US$478 billion annually. These costs are large compared with current government conservation spending (~US$133 billion in 2020) but represent a potentially sensible investment in safeguarding incalculable social and natural values and the estimated US$44 trillion in global economic production dependent on nature.