SNAPP: Integrating Natural Capital into Rwanda's System of National Accounts

Case Study of Forestry and Wetland Landscapes in Rwanda

Principal Investigator(s): 

Janaki Alavalapati, Glenn-Marie Lange, Michel Masozera

Most national accounting systems of a country’s economic output fail to account for the role of natural capital or ecosystem services in underpinning that country’s growth. Rwanda is a “Core Implementing Country” of the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Global Partnership. Support from SNAPP will provide a model of critical resources for ensuring collaboration and synergies across the different groups who are working on these efforts including research institutions, NGOs, Government of Rwanda, and the World Bank. Within Rwanda, the results will contribute to several important initiatives including the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy; Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan; Poverty and Environment Initiative – all aimed at integrating environment into national policy and planning, and budget processes.

This working group will integrate natural capital into the national goals for economic growth of Rwanda. Specifically, the work will focus on non-market ecosystem services (for example, drinking water supplies or nutrient cycling provided by wetlands) from two priority landscapes in Rwanda - the Rugezi wetland and the Nyungwe National Park. In addition to valuing natural capital, this working group will explore economy-wide tradeoffs associated with alternative natural resource management and policy options to support landscape-level conservation and development planning.

 The results from the working group will directly support Rwanda’s development planning and will serve as a model for other countries seeking to integrate natural capital (i.e., environmental protection and environmental values) into its goals for economic development. Beyond Rwanda, the results will give impetus to efforts by global initiatives like the WAVES, and the UN Green Economy, and provide a pathway for other governments committed to natural capital accounting.

This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, Angela Nomellini and Ken Olivier, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by World Bank.

More information for project participants Visit the SNAPP Website