Nature and Economic Crisis: Scenario of Srilanka
Rajesh Basnet1,2 
1Academic writer, Earth and Human | Climate Action. Sustainable lifestyle. 
2Ph.D. scholar, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, UCAS, China 

The World Bank Group promotes green financing as a broader resource mobilization strategy. Sri Lanka needs public-private partnerships in crucial areas such as infrastructure, health, and tourism. For the development of cost-effective and long-term energy solutions, forests are required. Green infrastructure and vegetation help reduce pollution and the health concerns that come with it, but they also encourage people to live better lifestyles and enhance their mental health. This study looks at how nature might help the country solve its economic problems. Many foods and beverage businesses employ natural ingredients and biological methods to help produce high-quality food. Resource-rich countries may provide the groundwork for long-term growth and poverty reduction by effectively managing natural resources. Natural resources are routinely undervalued and mismanaged.

Keywords: Economic Crises, Sri Lanka, Nature, World Bank Group, Forest

1. Overview

The World Bank Group advocates for a holistic strategy for resource mobilization that includes green financing. By 2030, shifting to a nature-positive economy may bring up to $10 trillion in additional yearly income and cost savings for businesses and 395 million new employment (Bank, 2020). Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves had dropped to $2.8 billion at the end of July, down from $7.5 billion the previous year. Sri Lanka needs public-private partnerships in vital infrastructure, health, and tourism. Forests are essential for creating cost-effective and sustainable energy options. Investing in low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies yields much larger economic rewards (Marwah & Ramanayake, 2021; Upadhaya, Wijethilake, Adhikari, Jayasinghe, & Arun, 2020).

Planting trees and rebuilding floodplains are labor-intensive projects ideal for public employment initiatives. Governments must incorporate green concepts into a long-term plan, not only short-term stimulus projects. Economic problems can be resolved by nature. Many foods and beverage businesses employ natural ingredients, and biological processes help produce high-quality food. The primary purpose of the research is to learn more about if nature can assist in resolving the country’s economic predicament (Cook & Taylor, 2020; Nielsen-Pincus & Moseley, 2010; Sakketa & von Braun, 2019).

1.1. Scenario of the world 

The World Bank Group is calling for a comprehensive approach to mobilizing resources that involves greening finance. Transitioning to a nature-positive economy could generate up to $10 trillion in annual business revenue and cost savings and create 395 million new jobs by 2030. The World Bank Group’s approach paper argues that the global nature crisis is a systemic risk for development and a development opportunity. It proposes six international response areas to guide governments and inform discussions on how to integrate nature into development planning. Transitioning to a nature-positive economy could generate up to $10 trillion in additional annual business revenue and cost savings and create 395 million new jobs by 2030 (Bank, 2020; Group, 2016). 

1.2. Economic crisis jeopardizing Sri Lanka

Since 2019, the Sri Lankan Rupee has lost more than 20% of its value versus the US dollar. Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves had dropped to $2.8 billion at the end of July, down from $7.5 billion the previous year. Due to suspected human rights breaches, Sri Lanka’s access to the lucrative preferential trade status of the European Union, worth $360 million per year, is in jeopardy. The World Bank is optimistic that the island country will recover, but caution is advised because restructuring is essential to achieve progress. Sri Lanka needs public-private partnerships in critical areas such as infrastructure, health, tourism, and foreign direct investment. In 2019, services contributed 58.2 percent of the Sri Lankan economy, up from 54.6 percent in 2010, industry 27.4%, up from 26.4 percent a decade before, and agriculture 7.4 percent (Diamond, 2011; Gunarathna, 2021; Ruwanpura & Wrigley, 2011; Sultana, 2022).

2. Methodology

This research examines how nature might assist in resolving the country’s economic dilemma. Secondary data for this study was gathered from books, social media, news journals, articles, and websites, including official government and non-government organization websites. The study’s investigation and data collecting were carried out using a quantitative approach. This study has no ethical concerns because there are no human participants, and the data is gathered from publicly available sources intended for broader usage.

3. Discussions

3.1. Where do nature and people go from here?

Nature provides us with all we require to survive and thrive. In the previous 40 years, mammalian, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish populations have declined by 60%. The New Deal aspires to protect and restore the environment for the benefit of both humans and nature. Haydn Washington’s work is an excellent portrayal of humanity’s interaction with nature. Energy flow, nutrient cycling, ecosystem services, ecosystem collapse, and our psychological and spiritual dependency on nature are investigated. It also considers anthropocentrism and denial as factors in our failure to recognize our inherent dependence on nature. Finally, the book provides a framework for dealing with the environmental crisis (Group, 2016; Hocking & Babbitt, 2014).

3.2. Role of nature in resolving economic crises

Forests are critical to a country’s economic development. They provide a wide range of products utilized as raw materials in several industries. For rural households, wood generated in woodlands serves as a source of energy. Forests are praised for their potential to give recreational activities. Forests are a vital component of national economies, providing a wide range of production inputs, environmental goods, food, fuel, medicines, home items, building materials, and industrial raw materials. Pollination services provided by animals such as bees are estimated to be worth $190 billion per year, supporting approximately one trillion dollars in agricultural revenues. The economic impact of marine environments is also considerable(Adrian & Shin, 2010; Marques et al., 2019).

3.3. Forests, inclusive and long-term economic growth, and job creation

A baseline analytical study on “Forests, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment” examines the socio-economic functions of forests. According to the United Nations Forum on Forests, forests provide sustenance, livelihoods, employment, and revenue to almost 1.6 billion people. Even though forests are necessary for food security and nutrition, agriculture is the leading source of deforestation. The value of forest contributions swapped for cash in underdeveloped countries is estimated to be above US$ 250 billion. Forests, particularly in underdeveloped countries, serve a key role in creating cost-effective and sustainable energy options. Locally managed forest enterprises and community-based forest management may contribute to long-term development and local livelihoods (Megevand & Mosnier, 2013; Timko et al., 2018).

3.4. Nature is an economic winner for COVID-19 recovery

The COVID pandemic has previously had an extremely detrimental influence on global economic health. Stimulus measures that focus on nature-dependent industries can assist countries in preventing more vulnerable individuals from falling into poverty. Traditional infrastructure and fossil fuel investments yield lower economic returns than low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. Planting trees and rebuilding floodplains are labor-intensive projects ideal for public employment initiatives. Given their “triple-dividend” advantages, donors should seek opportunities to assist with nature-based solutions. The economic benefits of restoring damaged agricultural land and forests might be billions of dollars (Cook & Taylor, 2020; Hepburn, O’Callaghan, Stern, Stiglitz, & Zenghelis, 2020).

4. Result

According to this study, economic crises are inherently resolvable because many foods and beverage businesses rely on natural components, and biological methods help produce high-quality food. Marine and freshwater fisheries are well-known worldwide and play an essential role in local economies. The Natural Capital Asset Index assesses the quality and quantity of terrestrial habitats in terms of their current ability to provide ecosystem services; it also demonstrates widespread public support for protecting these natural resources, which can help countries like Sri Lanka overcome economic challenges. Discussing another nation, such as the Philippines, which has a mixed economy like many other countries; while it has a capitalist market economy in its cities and more modern municipalities, its barrio people and indigenous groups still have an agrarian and subsistence economy (Amano, 2011). 

Nature-based solutions can assist civilizations in recovering from COVID-19’s destructive social and economic effects by providing financial possibilities, jobs, and a variety of public health and wellness advantages (Shahraki, 2021). They can help reduce catastrophe risk (Tsai & Chen, 2011), construct more resilient cities, enhance water management, and ensure long-term food security. Green infrastructure and vegetation help reduce pollution and related health hazards, encouraging people to live better lifestyles and enhance their mental health.

This article examines how natural resources and high-quality institutions could harness the so-called “resource curse” into a present and future opportunity. Sustainable natural resource management is about long-term economic development and long-term environmental conservation. Natural capital, often known as natural resources, is frequently misunderstood and mishandled. Managing natural resources necessitates balancing opposing needs, diverse resources, and multiple values. It also encompasses environmental preservation, which requires a holistic strategy. Finally, Restoring and maintaining the environment may help us combat the twin crises of natural loss and climate change and solve the economic problem if we address these concerns simultaneously.

5. Conclusion 

Many foods and beverage businesses employ natural ingredients and biological methods to help produce high-quality food. By carefully managing natural resources, resource-rich countries may provide the basis for long-term prosperity and poverty reduction. Natural capital, sometimes referred to as natural resources, is commonly mismanaged and undervalued. To make a living in a nation like Sri Lanka, the people must rely on natural resources, particularly those who live in rural regions.

Recommendation 

Natural resources’ economic importance is determined by the amount of revenue and wealth they contain. Sustainable natural resource management helps resource-rich countries lay the groundwork for long-term development and poverty reduction. The poor, particularly the rural poor, rely on natural resources for their survival.

References 

Adrian, T., & Shin, H. S. (2010). The changing nature of financial intermediation and the financial crisis of 2007–2009. Annu. Rev. Econ., 2(1), 603-618. 

Amano, N. (2011). The faunal remains of Nagsabaran in Cagayan, northern Philippines: Subsistence strategies in the Late Holocene. Archaeology Studies Program, University of the Philippines, Masters

Bank, W. (2020). Global economic prospects, June 2020: The World Bank.

Cook, J., & Taylor, R. (2020). Nature is an economic winner for COVID-19 recovery. 

Diamond, L. (2011). The impact of the economic crisis: why democracies survive. Journal of Democracy, 22(1), 17-30. 

Group, W. B. (2016). World development report 2016: Digital dividends: World Bank Publications.

Gunarathna, S. (2021). COVID-19 Pandemic Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka. Available at SSRN 3914955

Hepburn, C., O’Callaghan, B., Stern, N., Stiglitz, J., & Zenghelis, D. (2020). Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change? Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 36(Supplement_1), S359-S381. 

Hocking, D. J., & Babbitt, K. J. (2014). Amphibian contributions to ecosystem services. Herpetological Conservation and biology

Marques, A., Martins, I. S., Kastner, T., Plutzar, C., Theurl, M. C., Eisenmenger, N., . . . Bruckner, M. (2019). Increasing impacts of land use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration driven by population and economic growth. Nature ecology & evolution, 3(4), 628-637. 

Marwah, R., & Ramanayake, S. S. (2021). Pandemic-Led Disruptions in Asia: Tracing the Early Economic Impacts on Sri Lanka and Thailand. South Asian Survey, 28(1), 172-198. 

Megevand, C., & Mosnier, A. (2013). Deforestation trends in the Congo Basin: reconciling economic growth and forest protection: World Bank Publications.

Nielsen-Pincus, M., & Moseley, C. (2010). Economic and employment impacts of forest and watershed restoration in Oregon. 

Ruwanpura, K. N., & Wrigley, N. (2011). The costs of compliance? Views of Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers in times of global economic crisis. Journal of Economic Geography, 11(6), 1031-1049. 

Sakketa, T., & von Braun, J. (2019). Labor-intensive public works programs in sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences and implications for employment policies. 

Shahraki, A. A. (2021). The post-COVID-19 era requires maximum urban resilience. 

Sultana, G. (2022). Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka: An Assessment. 

Timko, J., Le Billon, P., Zerriffi, H., Honey-Rosés, J., de la Roche, I., Gaston, C., . . . Kozak, R. A. (2018). A policy nexus approach to forests and the SDGs: tradeoffs and synergies. Current opinion in environmental sustainability, 34, 7-12. 

Tsai, C.-H., & Chen, C.-W. (2011). The establishment of a rapid natural disaster risk assessment model for the tourism industry. Tourism management, 32(1), 158-171. 

Upadhaya, B., Wijethilake, C., Adhikari, P., Jayasinghe, K., & Arun, T. (2020). COVID-19 policy responses: reflections on governmental financial resilience in South Asia. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

(Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Rajesh Basnet received his B.Pharm, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, and MSc. In Pharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai (2019). He is currently a Ph.D. scholar in Biochemistry and Molecular biology, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, UCAS, Guangzhou, China (2020). He was awarded a UCAS scholarship (2016) and ANSO fellowship (2020) for his study. He has published more than 15 scientific articles in national and international journals.