Nature and Economic and Social Development

The wealth of nature is essential to the wealth of nations. All aspects of the global economy—from raw materials to manufacturing to trade and commerce—depend on nature. Nature supplies our economies with indispensable goods and services, creates jobs and business opportunities. Yet, natural resources are taken for granted and are not accounted for in any business or economic model. As with any other asset, when human activity degrades the environment, economic and social development are hampered, making marginalized communities more vulnerable.

Learning Resources

Nature and economies are interlocked in ways we sometimes fail to grasp. These resources clarify the link, as they explain how nature provides the basis for economic development as well as improvements in human wellbeing.


Why Investing in Nature Is Good Business

Hear from IUCN’s Director General Inger Andersen why joining the World Conservation Congress in Hawaiʻi will be critical to scaling up business solutions for nature. Length: 2:40 minutes. Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Promoting the Traditional Ways of Life of Arctic Indigenous People

This video highlights the importance of traditional ways of life for Arctic Indigenous communities and showcases three such traditional ways of life—the Protect Sápmi project in northern Norway, polar bear management in Canada’s North, and the Aleut Urban Unangax culture camp in Anchorage, Alaska. Length: 13:43 minutes. Source: Arctic Council.

Bonn Challenge

The Bonn Challenge is a global aspiration to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2020. This video describes the challenge and presents some milestones on our path to restoring the world’s forests. Visit for more details on the Bonn Challenge, and what you can do to get involved. Length: 7:34 minutes. Source: IUCN.

Forests for the 21st Century

In the last few centuries more than half of the world’s forest cover has been destroyed. Not only do we need to reduce deforestation, but we also need to replant trees. Learn about regions and countries that have restored forestlands and improved people’s lives. Length: 15:32 minutes. Source: IUCN.

Big Question: What Is Nature Worth?

A three-minute look at what biodiversity loss is really costing us—and what we can do about it. Length: 3:15 minutes. Source: University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.