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GEC events at the World Forum on Natural Capital

By Ben Martin GEC · 15th November, 2017

The World Forum on Natural Capital was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, from the 27 to the 28th of November 2017. As an official partner for this year's event, we were excited to engage with policy-makers and leaders on the crucial issues of how and why we must learn to value nature in economic and social decision-making. 

The stand-out event for the GEC in Edinburgh was the launch of our ground-breaking new report, The Wealth of Natureauthored by an international team of economists at the University of Oxford. The report examines the hidden dependency of modern global economies on nature, and argues that major structural changes are needed in the way we understand and practice economics if we are to achieve global prosperity and avoid dangerous environmental damage. 

As partners for the event, we also ran two panel sessions during the World Forum, both of which brought together high-level representatives from the worlds of business, government and environment for debate and discussion on natural capital approaches. 

Panel D3: "Tackling natural capital challenges head-on"

Nov 27th, 15:00 - 16:00

Our first panel took a critical look at current progress towards natural capital approaches at the national level, and explore what works, what doesn't, and how governments can mainstream natural capital into their decision-making.

The past few years have seen a proliferation of natural capital initiatives, but almost all of these have come from the private sector. But natural capital approaches cannot succeed without supportive policy frameworks at the state level. Why are governments lagging behind, and what can they do to catch up?

This panel explored how advances in natural capital thinking are relevant to national planning and budgets, and how governments can embrace a natural capital approach to opportunities and risks.


Panel D5: "Capitals and substitutability: a new approach to the Sustainable Development Goals"

Nov 28th, 12:00 - 13:00

This panel explored how natural capital approaches offer a new key to unlock progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In this session, pioneering research developed by the Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School was explored and tested with an eminent panel from business, government and integrated reporting. 

Natural capital approaches have much potential when it comes to economic development and environmental protection. But are there blind spots within mainstream economic theory that must be addressed if we are to avoid breaching critical natural capital limits? And how can we ensure the plethora of approaches combine, rather than compete, when it comes to the SDGs?


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