Exclusive interview with Justin Yifu Lin on the economics of biodiversity
By Su Yuting
The Dasgupta Review session, advocating the economics of biodiversity and aiming to protect the future of humanity and nature, will be a bright spot of the Boao Forum for Asia.
The report is an independent, global review led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta from Cambridge University. The review highlights evidence that investment in natural assets could help support a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more on the significance of discussing this report during this year's Boao Forum, CGTN reporter Su Yuting has sat down with Professor Justin Yifu Lin, dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University, who is also the lead Chinese expert of the Dasgupta Review's advisory panel.
CGTN: The Dasgupta Review is widely regarded as a landmark paper exploring the relationship between biodiversity and economics. What's the significance of discussing this report at this year's Boao Forum?
Lin: It's a landmark report to bring the world's attention to the issue of biodiversity. The Boao Forum is the most important forum in Asia, and also in the world. And this year, we are starting the new process of the 14th Five-Year Plan and 2035 long-term development goal [better known as long-range objectives through the year 2035].
And in this plan and this goal, we are pursuing high-quality development. And the report is a very important component of high-quality sustainable development.
CGTN: The review argues that gross domestic product (GDP) is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to judging the economic health of nations. Why do we need a different measure of wealth? What alternatives are currently available?
Lin: The GDP only counts the material output and the service we consume, but often at the cost of nature and the loss of biodiversity. But nature is the wealth itself and biodiversity is the foundation of nature.
If we want to make development sustainable. We need to pay attention [to] the maintenance of nature. The cost is huge and almost unrepairable.
CGTN: What should the international community do to achieve sustainable development by aligning economics with ecology?
Lin: We need to have the awareness. We also need to have the arrangement internationally to call for actions together and provide the incentive to pay attention and take effort to preserve the nature and biodiversity to county needed to take the right path for their development.