"Buying landscapes, protecting landscapes, accumulating new landscapes—it's a phenomenal opportunity." —Steve Morgan, CEO, Wildlands Inc.
BANKING NATURE is a film about the growing movement to monetize the natural world: to turn endangered species and threatened areas into instruments of profit.
It's a worldview that posits capital and markets as the planet’s salvation—turning nature into “natural capital.” In this view, the best way to protect endangered species and habitats is to assign them dollar values and measure the “ecosystem services” they provide. These services can then be converted into securitized financial products.
The results can be grotesque. In Uganda, we meet men who measure trees to determine how much carbon they store—and a banker from the German firm that sells the resulting carbon credits. Meanwhile, in Brazil, steel giant Vale destroys rainforest, replaces it with tree plantations, and reaps the benefits of environmental credits.
Can we trust the same people whose mismanagement of the mortgage market led to a global economic meltdown to safeguard nature, by turning it into financial instruments for speculators?
“Successfully outlines the theory behind 'financializing nature'... making this complex aspect of the modern market system comprehensible... Does a real service. Recommended.” —Video Librarian
Sustainable Business Award, Cinema Verde Film Festival
Award Winner, Life Sciences Film Festival
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Best Documentary and Best Environmental Film Nominee, Byron Bay Film Festival
Terre and Lettres Festival France
ReFrame Peterborough International Documentary Festival
Newport Beach Environmental Film Festival
Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Frontline Club London UK
One Earth Film Festival Chicago
"This is a fascinating work, investigating an inventive plan to protect nature... The portrayal of both sides of this impalpable concept is laudable. Huge assembly of opponents gives this film a distinct objectivity. The work has brilliant foresight into the issues, turning points, dangers, and ethical dilemmas of the proposal. Highly recommended." —Educational Media Reviews Online
"A beautiful and very challenging and provocative treatment of the current effort to save nature and the planet by applying market economics, models, and tools to global environmental crises such as species extinction, the loss of biodiversity, degradation and loss of whole ecosystems like the world's rainforests, and global warming." —Science Books and Films
"How much are the rainforests of the Amazon, the coral reefs of Hawaii, and the world's bees worth?" —Le Figaro
"Inspiring; analysis with detail and foresight." —L'Humanité