Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) is a global partnership that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that the national accounts used to measure and plan for economic growth include the value of natural resources.
This global partnership brings together a broad coalition of UN agencies, governments, international institutes, nongovernment organisations and academics to implement environmental accounting where there are internationally agreed standards, and develop standard approaches for other ecosystem service accounts.
By working with central banks and ministries of finance and planning across the world to integrate natural resources into development planning through environmental accounting, we hope to enable more informed decision making that can ensure genuine green growth and long-term advances in wealth and human well-being.
- Establish environmental accounts in six to ten countries and incorporate these into national policy analysis and development planning
- Develop internationally-agreed guidelines for ecosystem accounting
- Spread environmental accounting through a global partnership
Funding and Governance
WAVES is funded by UK, France, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, and the European Commission, and overseen by a steering committee. Its work on developing a methodology for ecosystem accounting is guided by a policy and technical committee of experts in environmental economics, natural sciences, and national accounting.
The story so far
WAVES was launched by the World Bank President, Robert B. Zoellick at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in October 2010. The program will be implemented in two phases: an on-going, preparation phase (January 2011 to June 2012) and the subsequent, four year implementation phase (2012-2015).
These are some highlights from the `preparation phase’:
- A global partnership has been established - we are building on efforts by TEEB, UN Green Economy, OECD Green Growth, Poverty Environment Initiative (UNDP/UNEP) and many others partners in academia, NGOs, national governments, and the private sector.
- A Policy and Technical Experts Committee to develop a methodology for ecosystem accounting has been set up.
- Work plans are being prepared for implementation of natural capital accounting in five developing countries.
- A Multi-Donor Trust Fund has been established and fundraising for implementation phase (2012 through 2015) is ongoing with a proposed budget of $15 million.
Since the launch, WAVES has been building up the partnership, establishing roles and responsibilities and testing the feasibility of environmental accounting in five countries. Each country is developing a detailed road map for moving the initiative forward and we are getting ready for the next phase of WAVES — that of implementation.
The Second WAVES Partners’ Meeting was held in April and marked the closing of the Preparatory Phase (2011) and initiated the Implementation Period (2012-2015). There was a review of what WAVES has done in the past year, updated partners on country initiatives and work plans for the coming years, and reviewed progress on the methodology for ecosystem accounting.
Over the next four years, the initiative will help countries put their plans into practice and support a range of activities towards key objectives.
- Reaffirming the Value of Natural Capital (April 20, 2013, SECO Economic Cooperation and Development)
- Call to Action on Recognizing the True Value of Nature (April 18, 2013, World Bank)
- New Video on Valuation of Oceans Released at the WAVES Partnership Meeting (April 11, 2013, UNEP)