The Guardian rounds up the highlights from a recent live chat where experts debated the challenges of natural capital valuation and the potential for its success. Questions include: Is there a consistent definition of natural capital and do we need one? Will putting a value or price on nature lead to its exploitation? What are some examples of concrete action being taken to value natural capital? What are the roadblocks? And, how can this be done?
From around the web
This Harvard Business Review blog asks: How should companies go about building resilient enterprises that are ready to face extreme weather and other effects of climate change? One powerful, underleveraged option is to use nature to protect coasts and physical assets, to invest in “green infrastructure” to cool and purify water or defend buildings and assets against the elements.
Placing second in the UK’s Guardian newspaper’s most popular finance stories of 2013 was the What is natural capital? - infographic. This infographic illustrates the economic benefits of wood compared to those that are gained from trees.
Costa Rica MP Alfonso Pérez Gómez introduced a Natural Capital Law in the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly on November 27, 2013.
World Bank Group intervention at Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, November 26, 2013
The World Bank is committed to helping to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. To achieve these goals the Bank is committed to inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. Read the full text of intervention here.
International Conference on Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa
The international conference on VANTAGE showcased successful efforts by countries and various organizations in the valuation and accounting of natural capital that have contributed to promoting atransformation to a green economy. The conference, held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, also sought to promote awareness and buy in for future efforts.
A blog by the World Resources Institute's Lauretta Burke on an event WRI recently convened in Bellagio, Italy, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, Forum for the Future, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. “The Future of Revaluing Ecosystems” brought together 32 participants from public, private, non-profit, and research sectors to consider how society could include in public and private decision-making a more complete valuing of the benefits ecosystems provide to people.
Over 300 scientists from 72 countries warned that most countries lack economists able to put a value on the water purification, storm protection and other services of nature, which inform trade-off choices in development planning. Even fewer deploy social scientists to estimate nature's non-economic (e.g. cultural) values, or to find ways to effect needed changes in human attitudes and behavior.
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, a major bank in Japan, announced that it has started to make efforts to measure how much a company depends on natural capital and including this evaluation in loan criteria, a first worldwide. Corporations whose business operations are largely dependent on raw material from natural capital, including water and timber and other products from forests, are at greater risk due to depletion of these resources.