top of page

Exporting Extinction: How the international financial system constrains biodiverse futures

Biodiversity Capital Research Collective

May 2024 

Contributing Authors: Jessica Dempsey, Audrey Irvine-Broque, Tova Gaster, Lorah Steichen, Patrick Bigger,
Azul Carolina Duque, Amelia Linett, George Porto Ferreira, Nicole Kaechele

This major report sets out to answer the question of why governments in the Global South have routinely failed to achieve biodiversity goals and targets. Rather than focus on the usual explanations of direct drivers of biodiversity loss like expanded mining and industrial agriculture, the report looks to the structural drivers that create the imperatives to approve and expand those extractive, ecologically harmful activities. Zooming in on five case studies around the world, the report looks at a range of structural drivers of biodiversity loss, including the international monetary system, the global debt architecture, transnational tax rules, and more. Ultimately, the report argues that Global South governments are currently locked into conditions of fiscal and monetary subordination- that is, the structure of the global economy, and the rules that govern it, radically restrict the ability of governments in the South to pursue sovereign policy priorities- like conservation, but also climate action, health, education, and more. Right now the extinction crisis is only deepening- significant reforms to the global economy are needed to create conditions under which people and landscapes can thrive.

"While domestic policies support extractive sector expansion,
these state decisions are often influenced by pressures stemming
from the international monetary and financial system that make
extraction necessary to maintain financial stability."

bottom of page