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Natural Capital for Governments: What, Why and How?

Governments have a significant role in creating an enabling environment for a capitals approach. Moreover, collaboration between governments around the world provides the opportunity to share best practice and strengthens their enabling role.

This paper explains the What, Why and How? of natural capital for governments, discussing what natural capital is, why it is relevant for governments, and how they can act on it. It is written to clarify and demonstrate the opportunities of implementing natural capital approaches in different policy areas. Four key messages stand out:

  1. Wealth and wellbeing depend on natural capital.
  2. Natural capital generates environmental, economic and social returns that contribute to achieving policy ambitions, providing that policy is managing trade-offs between those returns.
  3. Governments have seven levers to maximize the returns that natural capital delivers.
  4. Many governments already support natural capital approaches to support their ambitions and contribute to achieving SDGs.

This paper was produced as part of our Government Dialogue on Natural Capital project.

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