"A set of concrete principles and development goals that soundly move the value of natural capital from the periphery to the center of development planning..."



Vision of the Initiative


Please click to Download the Gaborone Declaration (2012)

Please click to Download the Gaborone Declaration (2012)

In May 2012, ten African heads of states in collaboration with some public and private sector partners held a two day summit where sustainability was at the center of the deliberations. The summit resulted in the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) where countries recommitted to implementing all conventions and declarations that promote sustainable development.  The overall  objective of the Declaration is “To ensure that the contributions of natural capital to sustainable economic growth, maintenance and improvement of social capital and human well-being are quantified and integrated into development and business practice”  This was propelled by the signatories’ realization of the limitations that GDP has as a measure of well-being and sustainable growth.  The following action statements are the impetus of the Declaration:

Map of Gaborone Initiative Member Countries (© CI -Victor Ramos). Please click for a larger view.

Action Statement 1: Integrating the value of natural capital into national accounting and corporate planning and reporting processes, policies, and programs, in agreed efforts.

Action Statement 2: Building social capital and reducing poverty by transitioning agriculture, extractive industries, fisheries and other natural capital uses to practices that promote sustainable employment, food security, sustainable energy and the protection of natural capital through protected areas and other mechanisms.

Action Statement 3: Building knowledge, data, capacity and policy networks to promote leadership and new model in the field of sustainable development and to increase momentum for positive change.

The GDSA signatories agreed to meet regularly in order to share information on progress made with regards to the action statements that they have committed to. 

2013 Follow Up Meeting

The first follow up meeting was held in October 7-8, 2013 at ministerial level. The objective of the meeting was to share progress made since the first meeting and to formalize the next steps of advancing the Declaration. The participants also shared case studies that demonstrated best practice in sustainability and natural capital accounting. 

2013 follow up meeting presentations 

The government of Botswana organized this meeting in partnership with Conservation International, World Bank, United Nations Development Program and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat. 

The meeting resulted in a joint communique outlining the resolutions reached by the ministers.





GDSA Governance Structure   

The Government of Botswana through the Department of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism is currently the GDSA interim secretariat until such a time when an institutional/operational model is in place. Conservation International provides technical support to the interim secretariat. 

GDSA achievements to date

  • A Draft Implementation Framework for tracking progress has been developed 
  • A Draft Institutional and Operational model is in place. It describes: the role and structure of the secretariat;  learning and exchange mechanisms; and financing mechanisms.   
  • Conservation International has pledged funding for a situational analysis. The study will provide baseline information on where the countries stand with respect to the agreed action statements and set out priorities going forward.


     Upcoming events 

     2014 GDSA Conference