November Date for Global Event on Natural Capital
Against a backdrop of increasing international interest in how we value the economic benefits we derive from our natural environment, business leaders, policy makers and sustainability leaders from around the world will come together in Edinburgh in November for the inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital.
Since the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio last June, there has been a groundswell of private sector interest in the concept of natural capital accounting. As the first major global conference devoted to turning the emerging debate into action, the World Forum on Natural Capital aims to widen understanding of the implications for businesses and the risks of ignoring 'invisible' assets.
Delegates from throughout the world are expected to attend the event, which is supported by major business and environmental organisations including the United Nations Environment Programme; World Business Council for Sustainable Development; International Union for Conservation of Nature; TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Business Coalition; and The Wildlife Trusts. The event organiser is the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
The World Forum on Natural Capital will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 21-22 November 2013.
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Notes to Editors
For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.naturalcapitalforum.com/
About Natural Capital
Natural capital is the value of nature to people, society, businesses and the economy. It is the stocks of physical and biological resources and the capacity of ecosystems to provide a flow of services that contribute to human wellbeing and sustainable development.
A report published on 15 April 2013 by the TEEB for Business Coalition, "Natural Capital at Risk: The Top 100 Externalities of Business", estimates that the world's primary production (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, oil and gas exploration, utilities) and primary processing (cement, steel, pulp and paper, petrochemicals) sectors have externality costs totalling US $7.3 trillion, which equates to 13% of global economic output in 2009. The value of the Top 100 externalities is estimated at US$4.7 trillion or 65% of the total primary sector impacts identified.
TEEB estimates that the cost of losing natural capital from deforestation alone is between US$2 trillion and US$5 trillion each year.
The Future We Want, the outcome document from Rio+20 (the United Nations Earth Summit in June 2012), made many references to the importance of the private sector. These included the following: "268. We recognize that a dynamic, inclusive, well-functioning, socially and environmentally responsible private sector is a valuable instrument that can offer a crucial contribution to economic growth and reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development?"
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 2 states that: "By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems."
The World Forum on Natural Capital will also contribute to the development of the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals. Agreement to draw up a set of Sustainable Development Goals, which will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, was a key outcome from Rio+20
The World Forum on Natural Capital will also contribute to IUCN's Global Programme 2013-2016, adopted in Jeju at the World Conservation Congress in September 2012
About the Organisers
The Scottish Wildlife Trust
The World Forum on Natural Capital is being organised by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme; International Union for Conservation of Nature; World Business Council for Sustainable Development; TEEB for Business Coalition and The Wildlife Trusts.
For almost 50 years, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has worked with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of its vision of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland's land and seas. The Trust successfully champions the cause of wildlife through policy and campaigning work, demonstrates best practice through practical conservation and innovative partnerships, and inspires people to take positive action through its education and engagement activities. The Trust manages a network of 120 wildlife reserves across Scotland and is a member of the UK-wide Wildlife Trusts movement.
About the organisations involved
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the council helps drive debate and policy change in favour of sustainable development solutions.
The WBCSD provides a forum for its 200 member companies - who represent all business sectors, all continents and combined revenue of more than $7 trillion - to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
IUCN's work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use and deploying Nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN works by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.
IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.
UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.
UNEP work encompasses:
Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends
Developing international and national environmental instruments
Strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment
Facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development
Encouraging new partnerships and mind-sets within civil society and the private sector.
UNEP's global and cross-sectoral outlook is reflected in its organizational structure, its activities and is personnel. Being based in Africa gives UNEP a clear advantage in understanding the environmental issues facing the world's developing countries.
To ensure its global effectiveness UNEP supports six regional offices, plus a growing network of centres of excellence such as the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) centres and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). UNEP also has major offices in Geneva and Paris, where its Division of Technology, Industry and Economics is situated.
UNEP also hosts several environmental convention secretariats including the Ozone Secretariat and the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, and a growing family of chemicals-related agreements, including the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and the recently negotiated Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
TEEB for Business Coalition
Launched in November 2012, The TEEB for Business Coalition is a global, multi stakeholder platform formed to develop and support the uptake of a harmonised, practical method to value environmental and social externalities for use in business decision-making. Our scope will initially focus on environmental externalities ? so called "natural capital".
Made up of global leaders from business, policy, practitioners and NGOs, The Coalition is the business application of G8 and United Nations Environment Programme supported TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) programme. TEEB provides a compelling economic case for the conservation of natural capital and is the cornerstone of current Green Economy policy. The Coalition founding organizations and supporters include the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), H.R.H. The Prince of Wales's Accounting for Sustainability Project, Global Reporting Initiative, Corporate Eco Forum, Business for Social Responsibility, International Federation of Accountants, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WWF and Global Initiatives. From government, supporters include the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank. From business Puma, Deutsche Bank, FMO Dutch Development Bank, Deloitte and Ernst & Young and International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) are on the advisory board.
The Coalition is a Not for Profit organisation and operates internationally with offices in Singapore and London to date. Two more regional offices are planned for North and South America. Dr. Dorothy Maxwell serves as the Coalition Director.
The Wildlife Trusts
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. Collectively, we have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.
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