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The 1st Natural Capital Summit

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The 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit met in the German Bundestag from the 7th to the 8th of June 2013. The Summit brought together legislators from 20 countries to promote better understanding of natural capital and of the importance that its proper evaluation must play in the protection of our natural environment and in advancing human economic development and poverty eradication in a sustainable manner. The final Summit Communique called on governments to fully incorporate the value of natural capital into national accounting frameworks by 2020.

Speakers at the summit included German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Hon. Dirk Niebel, Georgian Cabinet Minister for the Environment Hon. Khatuna Gogaladze, Peruvian Cabinet Minister for the Environment Hon. Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Deputy Cabinet Minister of Finance of Georgia Hon. Giorgi Tabuashvili, Deputy Cabinet Minister for National Planning and Economy of Costa Rica Hon. Silvia Hernández, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO Dr. Naoko Ishii, World Bank Director for Agriculture and Environmental Services Mr Juergen Voegele, Chief of the Economic Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division Mr Ivo Havinga and more than 60 senior delegates from over 20 parliaments, congresses and national assemblies including Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Slovenia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament.

The Summit, the first organised under the GLOBE Natural Capital Initiative also served to launch the first GLOBE Natural Capital Legislation Study. The publication reviews international efforts to value ecosystem services and asseses the measures eight countries are taking to integrate the value of natural capital into policy and economic decision-making. The Study, which was launched by Mr Pavan Sukhdev - author of The Economics of Ecosystems Biodiversity (TEEB) - finds that while all observed countries have made strong commitments to natural capital accounting, progress with implementation is slow.

Launching the study, Minister Dirk Niebel, said: “If we understand that biodiversity and intact ecosystem have also an economic value which needs to be protected and preserved, we made good progress towards sustainable development. That is why the GLOBE Natural Capital Initiative is of the utmost importance. It is aiming at integrating the natural capital approach into political decision making processes. I am glad to see that the Initiative supports common learning processes of developing and industrialized countries.”

The GLOBE Natural Capital Initiative provides a platform for legislators to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating natural capital into national accounting and policy-making processes, and its implications for long term economic growth. Through the GNCI, legislators share ideas about how their legislative, oversight and budgetary functions can be used most effectively to advance the natural capital approach. The Initiative works with legislators in a leadership group of 20 countries to support the integration of natural capital into national accounting and policy-making processes.