Reflections on Natural Capital Week 2018

With another year coming to an end, leading organisations across the private and public sectors interested in Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) convened in Paris to share and collaborate in preparation for 2019.

IDEEA Group Directors Mark Eigenraam and Carl Obst were in attendance. Carl Obst co-hosted the Combining Forces workshop with Mark Gough, Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) Executive Director, at the Natural Capital Policy Forum. The workshop familiarised attendees with the motivation of Combining Forces and presented 5 priority areas for advancing work on Combining Forces (for an overview, see this report).

Mark Eigenraam supported Forico’s Simon Cook during a presentation at the NCC Collaboration Day. Simon, who worked closely with IDEEA Group to apply the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting principles to the management of the Forico estate, discussed the motivations for, and the benefits of, employing environmental-economic accounting. An overview of the Forico work program is provided here.

Overall, there were many insights into the different natural capital projects being undertaken across the globe. It became evident that the appetite of business and government to implement environmental-economic accounting to underpin the implementation of the NCC Protocol is growing. Please contact us if you want to see how environmental-economic accounting can help your organisation to deliver a set of NCA’s.

Supporting the business case – why members of the Alliance for Water Stewardship should adopt the SEEA as a measurement and evaluation tool

A strong, robust evidence base that is easily shared and communicated between stakeholders is critical to support the objectives of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS). Communicating the impacts of AWS certification to public sector agencies, green investors and philanthropists has the potential to generate benefits to implementers that will enhance the business case for water stewardship.

During 2018 IDEEA Group built on past work with the AWS to demonstrate the practical application of the System of Environmental Economic Accounts in two of China’s industrial parks. The project report finds that there is great potential for the adoption of environmental-economic accounting but also underlines the importance of working with local experts who have access to data and local knowledge. IDEEA Group Director, Carl Obst, presented this work at the October AWS Global Conference in Edinburgh.

IDEEA Group will continue to work with the AWS in 2019 and beyond. By building a common language that is easily understood by all AWS stakeholders, we hope to provide a basis for collaboration and maximise the benefits of AWS water stewardship. Stay tuned!

Combining Forces: efforts to prevent the degradation and depletion of natural capital must be consolidated, life on Earth necessitates it.

Numerous efforts and initiatives to advance and develop natural capital thinking have emerged over the past 10 years. The approaches vary across disciplines and the private and public sectors resulting in a cluttered and confusing landscape. Are they competing, are they useful, are they the same? Can they be streamlined to maximise our collective efforts?

The problem of natural capital depletion and degradation requires a concentrated, unified effort. Coordination and participation across public and private sectors, and across disciplines is needed at an unprecedented scale in order to preserve life as we know it on Planet Earth.

IDEEA Group is supporting the Natural Capital Coalition to deliver the Combining Forces Initiative. It is the first step towards seeking to build a common language that will enable the exchange of ideas and ongoing innovation aimed at conserving natural capital.

The public sector approach to NCA applies the UN SEEA (United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting) framework, whilst the overarching framework for the private sector is the Natural Capital Protocol. These approaches use complementary valuation techniques to understand the relative importance and worth of the natural world on which we collectively depend.

Next week (Nov 26-30), IDEEA Group will travel to Paris to participate in Natural Capital Week 2018.

IDEEA Group Director Carl Obst and Natural Capital Coalition Executive Director Mark Gough, will facilitate a session on the Combining Forces Initiative at the 3rd Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy.

Simon Cook (Forico) will also be making the trip to present on the work program completed by Forico and IDEEA Group. He will be on a panel during the session on the Combining Forces Initiative and will also be making a presentation during the Natural Capital Coalition: Collaboration Day. He will discuss the reasons behind linking up with IDEEA Group to apply natural capital accounting using the UN SEEA to the Forico forest estate.