Public Seminar - Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business

Governments have so far failed to make adequate steps to act on climate change or biodiversity loss. Many businesses, including those with undue influence on government decisions, also continue to profit from environmental destruction. But there are a growing number of investors and businesses who consider climate change - and increasingly, biodiversity loss - as serious financial risks. Although calls to “put a price on nature” have been around for decades, the current push for change is that it is coming from within the private sector – and they are starting to put serious money on the table.

In this seminar, Dr Megan Evans will highlight some of these current trends that have led to biodiversity loss being regarded as the “next frontier’ for financial risk management. She will also describe how a growing role for the private sector could have quite profound implications for environmental governance, including how biodiversity is governed, by whom, and for what purpose. Finally, the seminar will briefly outline some of my current and future research, including modelling of carbon neutral pathways for the Queensland beef sector, and how social networks within the conservation and agricultural sectors may adapt to new injections of capital – and new expectations - from impact investors.


About the Speaker

Dr Megan Evans is a Lecturer and Research Fellow within the School of Business at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia. Megan’s expertise sits broadly within environmental policy, governance and economics, with a focus on market-based instruments. She has a diverse background, including undergraduate degrees in mathematics and ecology, a PhD in public policy (ANU Fenner School, 2017), and direct experience with policymaking. Megan currently holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellowship which is examining the growth of private sector investment in biodiversity and natural capital.