Gaborone Declaration Lays the Foundation for Natural Capital Accounting in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tea plantation on the edge of forest in Rwanda, Levi S. Norton

Tea plantation on the edge of forest in Rwanda, Levi S. Norton

By Tessa Mildenhall, Director of Communications for the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa

Conservation International is conducting a comprehensive scoping study to assess opportunities to value the services nature provides, such as clean air and water, flood control, and forest products.  This provides clarity on the benefits nature contributes to the economy and what the cost of consumption is to people and the planet.

The study, which spans 10 African countries, will provide insights into understanding each country's opportunities to assess the contribution of natural capital to their economies and how the information can influence decisions and policies for sustainable development options that value nature. 

Natural capital is a crucial asset to every country and business.  In developing countries, 36% of the total wealth is derived from natural capital and protecting this is of critical importance in light of the deterioration of ecosystems globally.

Watch Harrison Ford and Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO of Conservation International, talk about the importance of natural capital.

At Rio +20 more than 50 countries and 86 private companies joined forces to account for the value of natural capital into business decision-making and countries' systems of national accounting. In addition through the World Bank’s 50/50 campaign, 57 countries and the European Commission have put out a call to governments, the UN, international financial institutions and other international organizations to strengthen the implementation of natural capital accounting around the world.

The results of the Africa scoping study will prioritize options for guidance, support and technical delivery as well as identify key opportunities and gaps for implementation in all Gaborone Declaration member countries. The study will inform the development of a four-year strategy to move forward on natural capital accounting initiatives with Gaborone Declaration members.