The dual challenge of providing adequate resources for a growing and increasingly wealthy global population while protecting the environment calls for a dramatic shift in how we manage rural landscapes. These vital landscapes are the backbone of food production and providers of life-sustaining ecosystem services, as well as important harbors of biodiversity. Governments and the private sector are increasingly interested in understanding, valuing and monitoring changes in natural resources and ecosystem services to inform their development decisions, but often lack guidance from science. Policy makers need better tools, grounded in science, to help them make sound decisions.
The SNAP Working Group on Making Ecosystems Count in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is working to review, develop, and validate a critical set of measurable natural resource and ecosystem service-based indicators for the SDGs. It will test the capacity of these indicators to inform large scale investment decisions made by the private and public sectors in West and East Africa. Based on the results of these tests, the Working Group will propose a set of decision-making tools, building on the Natural Capital tool sets, which can be used to inform the sustainability and resilience of large-scale investment decisions, and progress towards meeting the countries SDG commitments. As a result of this process, the Working Group will evaluate the capacity of ecosystem service based approaches to address both conservation and development goals.
Working Group Meeting 1 Summary: Measuring Natural Capital - October 6-10, 2014
This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) initiative, generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.