Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway addresses the audience at the natural capital event on the sidelines of Rio+20 conference in June, 2012. - Photo: Mariana Ceratti/World Bank
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway addresses the audience at a natural capital event during the Rio+20 conference on June 20, 2012.


The Rio+20 conference in June 2012 marked a watershed in the world wide interest on Natural Capital Accounting. The World Bank started the 50:50 initiative inviting the public and private sectors to join forces, taking collective action in support of natural capital accounting. The campaign was launched at the Summit for Sustainability in Africa held in Gaborone, Botswana in May 2012. The Summit brought together for the first time the heads of state of several African nations who share a bold vision for a more sustainable future, including His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who was the keynote speaker. Joining President Khama were heads of state and government of Liberia, Mozambique and Namibia, Rwanda, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Norway.

By the Rio+20 conference in June, the response was overwhelming: 62 countries, 90 corporations, 17 civil society members supported the campaign.

What's Next?

A High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) will take place in Washington DC on April 18, just ahead of the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings,  to discuss ways to turn enthusiastic commitment from countries into action. 

Chaired by World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development, Rachel Kyte, this High-Level Ministerial discussion will bring together the countries signatory to the WAVES 50:50 NCA Initiative to focus on the progress that countries have made so far, and the concrete steps needed for them to get natural capital accounting underway. Countries will discuss what is needed to build national and global momentum around valuing and accounting for natural capital to enhance sustainable development decisions. The Ministers of Finance present will discuss the Global Action Plan on Natural Capital Accounting and, in the context of the Post-2015 development agenda, the UN, the World Bank and other partners will discuss how best to mobilize support to countries.