Tuesday, May 08, 2007

WRI Report On Restoring Nature's Capital

May 7: Ecosystems must be viewed as huge capital assets, affected by nearly all development and investment decisions according to a new World Resources Institute (WRI) report -- Restoring Nature's Capital: An Action Agenda to Sustain Ecosystem Services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), conducted in 2005 by the United Nations, including UNEP, WRI, and 1,300 Assessment participants, found the extent to which economies depend on the capital lying within nature's lands, waters, forests, and reefs. Restoring Nature's Capital presents the results of the earliest concerted thinking about how to address both the stark realities and the enormous potential uncovered by the Assessment. Restoring Nature's Capital draws on the recommendations of its 17 contributing authors from around the world.

Using the Assessment as its backdrop, Restoring Nature's Capital proposes an action agenda for business, governments, and civil society to reverse ecosystem degradation. Drawing on the recommendations of the 17 contributing authors, WRI's own series of World Resources reports, and the good work of many others, it sets out to answer the thorny question of what changes must be made to ensure that ecosystems can meet the needs of today's and future generations.

The authors contend that governance -- who makes decisions, how they are made, and with what information -- is at the heart of sustaining healthy ecosystems. With this as their fundamental tenet, the authors present an action agenda for reversing degradation of ecosystems and sustaining their capacity to provide vital services for generations to come. The action agenda identifies how decisions about development projects and investments can be made in ways that lead to healthy ecosystem services. These decisions, made by local and national governments, corporations, and international financial institutions, involve billions of dollars, affect huge swaths of land and water, and affect millions of people.

Access a WRI announcement (click here). Access an overview and links to related information (click here). Access the complete 101-page report (click here). [*All]