Jennifer Morris, President, Conservation International and member of the Natural Capital Coalition Board
“Over the past several years, there has been widespread recognition of the importance of natural capital approaches as a means to ensure that nature’s values are systematically included in decision making and sustainable development planning. And we’ve witnessed an incredible growth in demand for natural capital assessments and accounts from countries and businesses alike.
This demand is generating real change, as evidenced by initiatives like the Africa-led Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) where countries like Rwanda, Botswana and Liberia are designing national policies to protect and value natural capital based on accounts for key assets like forests, water and mangroves. As a founder of the Natural Capital Coalition and a member of the consortium that developed the Natural Capital Protocol, Conservation International is at the center of supporting this transition.
While the Coalition has been leading this work at the private sector level, we have also observed an incredibly important and coordinated response from public sector actors. For example, top ecologists, economists and accountants are rallying around the System of Environmental- Economic Accounting (SEEA) and answering the challenge to develop the next generation of ecosystem accounts, due to be completed in 2020. This same accelerated and multi-disciplinary approach is required more widely if we are to meet the visionary and ambitious sustainability pledges made in recent months from both the public and private sectors. We need to amplify this momentum on all fronts in order to drive action towards decisions and metrics based on natural capital information, and to meet the incredible public and private sector appetite for this movement.
At Conservation International, we support these efforts because we recognize that nature is foundational to the prosperity and security of people and economies. We look forward to building on this great progress in standards development and successful examples, towards the rapid development of systems that empower businesses and governments to integrate the value of nature into their decisions, and to sustain our societies and economies into the future.
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