Why Nature Isn’t Giving Out “Free Lunches”

In the buildup to Rio+20, many important decision-makers — including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon — have proposed that GDP is a flawed model for representing true economic growth, as it fails to account for the value of intact ecosystems and all the resources and services they provide. For those of us who aren’t economists, this can be difficult to conceptualize, which is why this easy-to-understand video is well worth a look.

In the fun three-minute clip below, Sandra Bessudo — Colombia’s high presidential advisor for environmental policy, biodiversity, water and climate change, and a longtime friend of CI — explains how “when we think of nature as a great big free lunch, bad things can happen.”

Molly Bergen is managing editor on CI’s communications team. To learn more about Sandra Bessudo and fresh water issues in Colombia, watch the full-length video produced by CI’s visual storytelling team.


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