The Case For Nature: Let The Media & Advertising Industries Tell A Story & Tell It Well

The Case For Nature: Let The Media & Advertising Industries Tell A Story & Tell It Well

Last year, Siddarth Shrikanth published The Case for Nature: Pioneering Solutions for the Other Planetary Crisis. Catherine de Clare caught up with him at the Jaipur Literary Festival in India this year.

Shrikanth currently works as a director on the Investment team at Just Climate, a sustainability-focused investment fund chaired by former US vice president Al Gore. In fact, Gore said of the book: “Shrikanth provides clear and tangible examples of how to not only safeguard humanity’s future but fuel economic growth and prosperity.”

Shrikanth spent time at the Stanford Natural Climate Project and a lot of the book explains the concept of natural capital and how it can help us make the economic case for saving the planet.

Natural capital is a framework to assign value to the services that nature provides. We do already price nature in our markets but in an extractive sense. A tree is currently worth more dead than alive, and whether it’s from fossil fuels, agriculture or fishing — nature’s goods are the engines behind our markets.

But the myriad of interdependent natural systems that we can’t live without, such as pollination, nutrient recycling, soil health, the air that we breathe, have yet to find the same place in those markets. But if they can be given monetary value, it would be a huge step towards the protection of the environment. Not least because these goods will not be seen as something outside of production and success and money, but as a fundamental part of all those things that we enjoy and need.

Similarly, Shrikanth talks about the need to harness our wonder of nature, but also to see ourselves as not separate from it. Nature is not only something we visit and are in awe of, it is part of our jobs and lives. Without nature, not a lot is going to work.

Prior to working at the fund, Shrikanth was a journalist at the Financial Times based in Hong Kong, so he understands the power of stories, especially at a time when government policies are failing and even the simplest science has become political. And his message to the media and advertising industries is to tell the truth and tell it well.

The book highlights several projects from around the world that are cutting through and making a difference, particularly in biodiversity, which despite being an equally pressing issue for the planet, has taken a bit of a backseat to climate change even though the two are intimately linked and ultimately the same thing.

Tiritiri Matangi island in New Zealand is close to his heart as he completed his dissertation on the reintroduction of bird species there. He revisits the project in the book, as well as high-tech ways of measuring the thousands of species in a tiny piece of soil.

He is passionate about the value of indigenous wisdom and the urgency with which we must embrace that knowledge, to find a way forward with nature as a partner, not our slave or our enemy. A new voice giving cause to #climateoptimism

Shrikanth will be at the first Global Nature Positive Summit this October in Sydney.

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