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Hon. Giorgi Tabuashvili - Deputy Minister of Finance, Georgia

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Keynote speech

As delivered by Hon. Giorgi Tabuashvili - First Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia at the 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Delegates,

It is an honor for me to be here, at the 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit. I would like to thank the organizers for inviting and giving me an opportunity to address you.

Let me underline the importance of this Summit for Georgia and emphasize Georgia's strong interest to join the Globe Natural Capital Initiative.

Natural capital is the most valuable range of physical assets available within our natural environment; it is one of the most important components of national wealth. We recognize an indispensible role and contribution of natural resource, ecosystem services and biodiversity to economic development.

I would like to note that Georgia has certain successful experience in valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity with the support of the World Bank since 2000. Besides that Georgia launched the TEEB scoping study in 2011. Herewith, I would take an opportunity and thank the UNEP for supporting this process. The scoping study was presented in Batumi, on 6th Intergovernmental Conference - Biodiversity in Europe, held in April, 2013.

However, notwithstanding the mentioned experience in this field, we are just in the beginning of the way which we are willing to follow. Full TEEB National study would be a valuable step towards demonstration of strong relationship between economy and environment and the integration of value of natural capital into national economic policies.

Georgia welcomes the GLOBE Natural Capital Action Plan and realizes the importance of integration of the value of natural capital into national accounts. We recognize the importance of discussion on these issues at the level of the Georgian Cabinet of Ministers. However, in order to transform the existing political will into practical actions, we would also need certain support in capacity development and sharing the best practices in this field.

I would like to wish the Summit successful work, I hope it will have very positive results and define specific steps for future cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.