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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice

International Conference on Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa

3-4 December 2013 | UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
 
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
 
Summary Highlights of the Meeting

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

On Wednesday, 4 December, delegates to the International Conference on Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa convened for a high level policy forum at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Following opening remarks by Stephen Wainaina, Economic Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya, and Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, delegates listened to a keynote address by Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge, UK.

During the remainder of the day, delegates participated in a policy dialogue on VANTAGE and considered key issues related to valuation and accounting of natural capital for a green economy. Ministers from Egypt and Rwanda presented on their countries' approach to valuation and accounting of natural capital and discussed how their countries incorporate valuation and natural capital accounting into development strategies. Participants also heard a video message from Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In the afternoon, delegates considered a draft outcome document that identifies remaining challenges in implementing VANTAGE in Africa and includes recommendations for how to overcome these challenges. During the discussion, delegates recommended making explicit linkages between VANTAGE and poverty alleviation, noting tackling poverty remains a priority for Africa.

In a plenary discussion on the way forward, participants stressed the importance of ensuring that data and information are useful for policy analysis.

Please return to this webpage on 6 December 2013 for the summary of the VANTAGE meeting.

Summary of the meeting in English (in HTML and in PDF format)

Visit the full VANTAGE coverage for Wednesday, 4 December 2013

VANTAGE participants pose for a group photo
 
OPENING SESSION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL POLICY FORUM ON VANTAGE
 
   
Nick Nuttall, Director, Division of Communication and Public Information, UNEP, Master of Ceremonies of the
opening session of the VANTAGE High-Level Policy Forum
   
 
Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, delivering his opening statement to the VANTAGE High-Level
Policy Forum
 
 
Stephen Wainaina, Economic Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and
Planning, Kenya
 
Pushpam Kumar, Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit, DEPI,
UNEP
 
 
View of VANTAGE participants to the High-Level Policy Forum
 
L-R: Amb. Martin Kimani, Kenya Permanent Mission to UNEP and UN-HABITAT; Bernard Ndombi
Okumu
, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya; and Stephen Wainaina, Economic
Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya
 
KEYNOTE ADDRESS
 
   
Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK
   
 
POLICY DIALOGUE ON VANTAGE
 
   
L-R: Belete Tafere, Minister of Environment and Forests, Ethiopia; Caroline Kayonga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of
Natural Resources, Rwanda; and Laila Rashed Iskandar, Minister of Environment, Egypt
   
 
CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, delivering his statement via video
 
 
Laila Rashed Iskandar, Minister of Environment, Egypt
 
Caroline Kayonga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural
Resources, Rwanda
 
 
Presentation by Laila Rashed Iskandar, Minister of Environment, Egypt
 
Andrew Mutaba Mwali, Deputy Minister,
Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection, Zambia
 
Mohamed Halifa, Delegate in charge of
Agriculture and Fisheries with the Vice-
Presidency in charge of the Ministry of
Production, Environment, Energy, Industry
and Handicrafts, Comoros
 
Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Minister,
Ministry of Environment and Tourism,
Namibia
 
 
L-R: Martin Nowack, GIZ, Germany, in discussion with Olimpio Nhuleipo, Namibia
 
Glenn-Marie Lange, WAVES, World Bank, in conversation with Jean-Louis Weber, European Environment Agency Scientific Committee
 
 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

On Tuesday, 3 December, experts and government officials from Africa and around the world convened at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa. VANTAGE was conceived with a view to promoting a paradigm shift, whereby natural ecosystems, and the services they provide, are given greater standing and consideration in decision making processes, including in development efforts.

In the morning, participants convened for an opening session, followed by a discussion of experiences and lessons learned from key international initiatives on ecosystem valuation and measurement. Participants also discussed case studies from the African region of implementing economic valuation accounting frameworks, including from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

At lunch, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched two publications: ‘Values, payments and institutions for ecosystem management: A developing country perspective,’ by Pushpam Kumar and Ibrahim Thiaw and a ‘Guidance Manual on Value Transfer Methods for Ecosystem Services.’

In the afternoon, participants discussed methodologies and data needs for economic valuation of ecosystem services and country experiences in using non-economic valuation techniques. Participants also considered how to incorporate VANTAGE into efforts to promote a “green economy” approach to development and reflected on next steps in promoting this paradigm shift.

Common themes that emerged during the day include: a growing consensus that natural capital must be adequately valued and included in national accounting frameworks; and the existence/availability of tools to do so. Participants also identified common challenges, including the costly nature of data collection and the lack of a coordinated approach to ensure consistency and comparability of data between disciplines, resources and sectors.

In the evening, participants enjoyed a reception hosted by UNEP, African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of Kenya.

Summary of the meeting in English (in HTML and in PDF format)

Visit the full VANTAGE coverage for Tuesday, 3 December 2013

 
   
View of the VANTAGE plenary session
   
 
   
Shereen Zorba, Head, News Desk, Division of Communication and Public Information, UNEP, Master of Ceremonies of the
opening session
   
 
 
Mounkaila Goumandakoye, UNEP
 
Pushpam Kumar, UNEP
 
 
ECONOMY AND ECOSYSTEM: MEASUREMENTS AND AGGREGATES
 
   
Presentation by Robert Costanza, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
   
 
 
Jacqueline McGlade, Division of Early Warning and Assessment
(DEWA), UNEP
 
Anantha Duraiappah, UN University, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (UNU-IHDP)
 
 
 
Robert Costanza, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian
National University
 
Glenn-Marie Lange, Global Partnership for Wealth Accounting and
the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), World Bank
 
 
Ivo Havinga, UN Statistics Division
 
BOOK AND MANUAL LAUNCH
 
Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge, UK (center), helped launch the book "Values, Payments, and Institutions
for Ecosystem Management: A Developing Country Perspective"
 
VANTAGE SNAPSHOTS
 
L-R: Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP; Ida Kubiszewski, Australian National University; and Neeyati Patel, UNEP
 
   
L-R: Eric Mungatana, UNEP; Beth Mbote, UNEP; Sun Cho, UNEP; Ivo Havinga, UNSD; Partha Dasgupta, University
of Cambridge, UK; Pushpam Kumar, UNEP; Makiko Yashiro, UNEP; Simon Martin, UNEP; and Ersin Esen, UNEP
   
 
VANTAGE press conference
 
 
L-R: Wilfrida Omenda, UNON; Makiko Yashiro, UNEP; and Rudy
van Dyk
, UNON
 
L-R: Beth Mbote, UNEP; Sun Cho, UNEP; and Wilfrida Omenda, UNON
 
 
PHOTOS FROM THE VANTAGE RECEPTION HOSTED BY UNEP, AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION (AUC)
AND THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA
 
 
 
 
 
Related Links
Conference resources

*Conference website

*Conference agenda

*Conference concept note

*Background report on VANTAGE

*The Gaborone Declaration


IISD RS resources

*IISD RS coverage of Rio+20: Third PrepCom and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), 13-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

*IISD RS coverage of the First session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-1), 21-26 January 2013, Bonn, Germany

*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings

*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

*POST2015-L - A mailing list focused on internationally-relevant activities related to setting the post-2015 development agenda

*Post-2015 Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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