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Summit Communiqué

GLOBE Natural-Capital-Summit-Niebel

1. We, GLOBE legislators from Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, the European Parliament, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, calling to mind the Nagoya Natural Capital Action Plan, The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Targets, The Gaborone Declaration and The Rio+20 Outcome Document on The Future We Want, have met in Berlin, Germany, from 6 - 8 June 2013 with representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the German Government, in order 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. 

2. Recognising natural capital as the basis for all economic value whether in the form of non-renewable commodities such as minerals or fossil fuels, or in the form of finite but renewable resources and ecosystem services such as fuel wood, fresh water provisioning and pollination;

3. Recognising that the erosion of nature’s capacity to deliver ecosystem products and services will have a profound and damaging effect on the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals and on green economic growth whilst increasing the risks of natural disasters and business supply chain interruption;

4. Recognising that Gross Domestic Product is an important but only partial measure of national wealth and wellbeing and that it fails to properly represent either the non-market benefits of ecosystems or the environmental costs of growth;

5. Noting that The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) recently estimated that in the 50-year period to 2050, the cumulative losses to the global economy from ecosystem degradation will be equivalent to 7 per cent of global GDP;

6. Recognising that natural capital comprises 80 per cent of the wealth of indigenous peoples and the importance that traditional knowledge plays in biodiversity conservation and use;

7. Noting the increasing awareness by the business community of the impact of their ecological footprint and the importance of managing natural capital resources in order to improve productivity, reduce waste, promote fair-trade, ensure sustainable growth and minimise supply chain risk;

8. Welcoming the GLOBE Natural Capital Legislation Study and the progress it shows many countries have made towards the proper evaluation of natural capital in policy and economic decision making;

9. Recognising the importance of carrying out National Ecosystem Assessments (NEAs) to provide the raw data upon which a coherent valuation of natural capital assets and the costs associated with their depletion, can be determined;

10. Recalling signatory countries' obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity to produce National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to ensure that Natural Capital assets are protected and maintained and noting the importance of keeping these regularly updated;

11. Welcoming the adoption by the United Nations of the revised System of Economic Environmental Accounts (SEEA) as the first International Accounting Standard for producing comparable statistics on the environment and its relationship with the economy;

12. Welcoming Goal 9 of the report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda with its emphasis on the sustainable management of natural resource assets;

 

13. Call on our governments and governments everywhere, no later than 2020, to fully incorporate the value of natural capital into national accounting frameworks and to regulate to ensure that businesses make transparent and open to public scrutiny their environmental externalities, such as their impacts upon natural capital, in their annual reports to shareholders.

14. In pursuit of these objectives and recognising the crucial role that legislators and legislatures will play in creating the political and economic structures necessary to  support natural capital accounting, we commit ourselves to:

Promote awareness and understanding of natural capital accounting in our national legislatures;

  • Improve communication between national legislators, experts and other stakeholders on natural capital accounting;
  • Support the work of the Global Environmental Facility in progressing the Natural Capital Initiative as the official funding mechanism of the United Nations in these matters;
  • Hold our governments to account for the quality and quantity of the support they provide to international bodies such as development banks and agencies.
  • Hold our governments to account for the management of our country's natural capital;
  • Scrutinise relevant budgets, policies and legislation on our country's stock of natural capital;
  • Organise meetings and debates in our national legislatures with Environment and Finance Ministers to discuss the benefits and methods of incorporating the valuation of natural capital into national and business accounts and to present the GLOBE Natural Capital Legislation Study.

 

15. We therefore call upon legislators from parliaments from around the world to meet in Mexico City between June 6-8 2014 at the 2nd GLOBE World Summit of Legislators to report on the progress in valuing natural capital in pursuit of the objectives set out in the UN Conventions on Biological Diversity, Desertification and Climate Change.