European researchers have come up with a system to help determine the value of a species to help protect threatened species. They also hope the system will help them see how human activities affect biodiversity.

Source: TED-Ed/Youtube

The “species stock market” acts just like a regular stock market but with animals instead of money. The concept is not about owning or trading animals, but it allows researchers to assign value to different species and then determine how human activities affect them.

According to the Washington Post, they could assign a high stock price to species like bees, which are often considered the most important living beings on the planet. The price for bees would then fluctuate as humans make “purchases” based on their activities.

Activities like pesticide use, habitat destruction, and other activities that contribute to climate change would be considered “selling,” which would make a conceptual invoice that humans would then need to offset by changing their activities. When humans do actions to protect species and biodiversity, it would be considered “buying.”

“Goodwill actions will become increasingly difficult to dodge and dismiss,” says Urmas Koljalg, a professor at the University of Tartu in Estonia and the study’s lead author.

This system, published in the Rio Journal, could help humans see clearly how their actions affect animal species and how we can help keep biodiversity on the planet.

Biodiversity is essential to all systems on earth, and a third of plant diversity is expected to disappear by 2050. Thankfully, awareness and action provide opportunities to engage and help species endangered by human activity. Plant-based diets help preserve biodiversity, according to a new report, and European Academies are calling for climate and biodiversity crises to be treated as one.

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