Paul Lachine

¿Se privatiza la naturaleza?

BERLÍN – Hoy en día pocas personas tienen la esperanza de que convenciones de las Naciones Unidas como la Convención Marco sobre el Cambio Climático y el  Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica puedan evitar el calentamiento global, la pérdida de biodiversidad y el agotamiento de los suelos cultivables y el agua. Asimismo, la búsqueda de límites estrictos a las emisiones de CO2 y normas ambientales y sociales más rígidas para reducir el consumo de recursos naturales y proteger a los trabajadores parece estar pasado de moda pues las economías afectadas por la crisis están inquietas de que dichas regulaciones obstaculicen la inversión y el comercio.

Como los viejos métodos han perdido credibilidad, algunos gobiernos, economistas e instituciones internacionales como el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente han adoptado un nuevo enfoque, que se basa en la idea de que la naturaleza es un proveedor de “servicios de ecosistemas”. Con dicho enfoque han transferido la responsabilidad de atender el riesgo medioambiental al sector privado y a los mecanismos basados en el mercado.

Según este nuevo paradigma, la preservación ambiental es un asunto comercial en el que el medio ambiente es solamente un conjunto de bienes y servicios comercializables. El resultado de esta lógica es que los servicios de ecosistemas ya no serán gratuitos. En efecto, de acuerdo con Pavan Sukhdev, el autor principal de la investigación The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (La economía de los sistemas y la biodiversidad), que tiene por objetivo subrayar el impacto económico del deterioro ambiental, “Usamos la naturaleza porque es valiosa, pero la perdemos porque es gratuita.”.

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