From Obstacles to Opportunities – Towards an Action Plan for Improved Natural Capital and Ecosystem Accounting Implementation

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August 2015
World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)

Over the last decade a consensus has been growing that accounting for natural capital and integrating that approach in governmental and business decision-making is an important pillar of global, national, regional, local and corporate conservation efforts. Accounting for natural capital aims to support halting biodiversity loss and avoiding the deterioration of ecosystems and the services they provide that underpin human well-being and economic prosperity. The Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) published in 2014 states that progress has been made in mapping and assessment of biodiversity, ecosystems and their services and in incorporation of their values into planning processes and strategies. However, there is still relatively little attention given to the integration of natural capital accounting into national reporting and accounting systems.

When fully implemented, natural capital and ecosystem accounting, will deliver accessible information that helps the understanding of how society benefits from biodiversity and ecosystems, and how protecting them contributes to sustainable economic development. This report is mostly based on the discussions and findings of the International Workshop On Opportunities and Obstacles for Natural Capital Accounting, held in Brussels on the 27th and the 28th of January 2015. WWF and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development have brought together a group of experts to identify the biggest obstacles and challenges and most promising success factors for incorporating natural capital and ecosystem accounting into policy decision making.