From May 31st to June 1st 2016, the World Bank WAVES program held its Annual Partnership Meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. This year’s meeting was designed to bring together WAVES’ partners and highlight their cutting-edge work on natural capital accounting (NCA) as well as the work of WAVES’ Core Implementing Countries. The objectives of the meeting were to explore lessons learned from various NCA initiatives and to increase understanding of how these lessons can inform work at the global level. In addition, the meeting focused on the process of using NCA in decision-making and packaging the outputs of NCA in a way that appeals to decision-makers.
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and the NDC’s with natural capital accounting (NCA)
On the second day of the conference, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez – a Vice President at Conservation International and policy advisor to the Gaborone Declaration – joined Paula Caballero (Senior Director, World Bank) and representatives from Indonesia and the UNDP to discuss how NCA can help with measuring progress towards several international commitments. Carlos Manuel, who also is a former Minister of Environment for Costa Rica, articulated the challenges and opportunities that are inherent to the field of NCA. Carlos cited his own evolution as a minister who pioneered the use of ecosystem valuation in decision-making in Costa Rica. He closed by noting the importance of WAVES and related programs, such as the UNDP BIOFIN initiative, in mainstreaming ecosystem valuation and natural capital accounting into global dialogue.
The GDSA as a platform for regional collaboration on natural capital accounting
In addition to Carlos’ panel discussion, the GDSA was highlighted as one of the platforms for regional collaboration on NCA in Africa. Represented by Kim Reuter (Natural Capital Accounting Director, CI’s Africa + Madagascar Field Division), the GDSA was featured alongside the Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean and the WAVES program. Topics of discussion included the importance of regional collaboration in moving NCA forward across the globe, breaking down communication barriers between countries, linking multiple partners together via regional networks, and using regional networks to scale-up WAVES work. The importance of the GDSA was re-emphasized by Portia Segomelo, WAVES Advisor for Botswana, who noted that Gaborone signatory countries are now linking their NCA initiatives to the GDSA, given its regional importance.
WAVES will continue to play an important role across the GDSA, as three of its five global Core Implementing Countries are also Gaborone signatory countries (or otherwise affiliated with the GDSA). As such, the GDSA looks forward to supporting the work of WAVES and to ensuring the lessons learned in WAVES countries are shared across the rest of the Gaborone Declaration.