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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)
 
Highlights for 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.

View of the VANTAGE plenary session
 
OPENING SESSION
 
   
Shereen Zorba, Head, News Desk, Division of Communication and Public Information, UNEP, Master of Ceremonies of the
opening session
   
 
 
Mounkaila Goumandakoye, Director, Regional Office for Africa, UNEP
 
Pushpam Kumar, Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit,
Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI), 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
   
 
ECONOMIC VALUATION IN AN ACCOUNTING FRAMEWORK
 
   
View of VANTAGE participants
   
 
 
Patrick Birungi, National Planning Authority, Uganda
 
Juma Mgoo, Tanzania Forest Services Agency
 
 
 
Bernard Ndombi Okumu, Ministry of Devolution and Planning,
Kenya
 
Eric Mungatana, DEPI, UNEP
 
 
   
L-R: Michel Masozera, Wildlife Conservation Society, Rwanda, session moderator; Patrick Birungi, National Planning Authority, Uganda;
Bernard Ndombi Okumu, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya; Juma Mgoo, Tanzania Forest Services Agency; and Eric Mungatana,
DEPI, UNEP
   
 
   
View of the presentation by Mike Christie, Aberystwyth University, UK
   
 
 
Ersin Esen, DEPI, UNEP
 
Luke Brander, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
 
 
 
Jean-Louis Weber, European Environment Agency Scientific
Committee
 
Mike Christie, Aberystwyth University, UK
 
 
   
L-R: Ersin Esen, DEPI, UNEP; Mike Christie, Aberystwyth University, UK; Rodney Smith, University of Minnesota, US, session moderator;
Jean-Louis Weber
, European Environment Agency Scientific Committee; and Luke Brander, Hong Kong University of Science and
Technology
   
 
 
Ashbindu Singh, former Chief and Regional Coordinator for North
America, DEWA, UNEP
 
John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US
 
 
   
Franz Gatzweiler, University of Bonn, Germany
   
 
Caroline Kayonga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Rwanda
 
 
THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC VALUATION AND NATURAL ACCOUNTING IN ACHIEVING A GREEN ECONOMY
 
Salman Hussain, Scotland's Rural College, UK, moderated the
session
Mark Schauer, Economics of Land Degradation Initiative (ELD),
Germany
 
 
Peter North, University of Liverpool, UK
 
Paul van Gardingen, Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation
Programme, UK
 
 
Gunnar Köhlin, Environment for Development Initiative, University of Gothenburg,
Sweden
 
SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSIONS
 
   
Pushpam Kumar, DEPI, UNEP, challenged participants to make economic arguments, social
accounting and natural capital frameworks useable for policymakers.
   
 
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"
 
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.’
 
 
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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