Attempts to “sell” nature conservation on utilitarian grounds – because it makes economic sense – can be locally successful but, overall, the track record over the past decades suggests it is a strategy doomed to failure. Nature appeals to something that is highly present in some and buried in others. Most of us have an emotional or spiritual link to nature, at least at some level. Conserving nature – or the imperative not to destroy it – plays not just to self-interest but to a set of deeper values. Articulating and understanding the importance of these values is a first step in successfully framing the case for conservation.

Though personal values tend to connote values that encourage good rather than bad behaviour, values in fact cover the entire spectrum. In the consultancy proposed here, the interest is in identifying and understanding the values base that encourages financial decision-making that advances biodiversity conservation and discourages financial behaviour that undermines it.

In considering how, practically, to enhance the relevance of values to financial decision-making affecting biodiversity, what counts is making the values material to the considerations that affect these decisions. The focus is specifically on biodiversity as a value.

F4B aim to map the different value-related arguments and evidence that must be tackled to bring about a better alignment between the operations of the financial system and the imperative of nature conservation – i.e. how to move biodiversity solidly into financial decision-making. The results will feed into efforts to craft a new narrative around nature in the post-COVID world.