Policy Dialogue - Press Release: Governments Unveil New Tools for Savings in Natural Capital and Creating a Green Economy Ha Noi, Viet Nam-29 May 2014. A group of countries has come together to create new pathways for an inclusive green economy. They are gathering in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 29-30 May to tell their success stories and exchange innovative ideas and research results in a 'Policy Dialogue on Mainstreaming Natural Capital into Development Decisions: Bringing Environment to the Center Stage'. Although the over exploitation of ecosystems has enhanced income, the impact is causing depletion of life supporting services that are essential for physical security (protection against flooding and storms) and the social- cultural aspects of life. "Immediate action is needed to secure the planet's ecosystem services and replenish natural capital. A range of tools and approaches to integrate natural capital into development decisions of countries, especially their poverty reduction strategies, are already available. We also need to integrate these into trade and investment measures, fiscal and monetary policies in order to resolve emerging trade-offs," said Dr Pushpam Kumar, Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Motivating decision makers to use such tools can generate enabling conditions for increased investment in the transition to a green economy and restoration of natural capital. "Mainstreaming natural capital into development decisions recognizes the missing link between economic and environmental policies. Understanding the inter-linkages that exist between natural resource sectors (e.g. forestry and fisheries) with the rest of the economy could potentially provide a compelling case for sustainable resource management," said Nguyen Van Tai, Director General, Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, (ISPONRE). Findings of the Dialogue will feed into the 4th Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Ministers Meeting to be held in Myanmar in 2015. Host country of the Policy Dialogue, Viet Nam, estimates the value of coastal protection provided by mangroves in Ngoc Hien District, Ca Mau Province averages USD 2,600 per ha per year. Small-island developing state (SIDS), Trinidad and Tobago, approximates the value of Northern Range ecosystem services is USD 497 US million per year (in 2010 and around 2.4% current GDP), and the value of direct economic benefits provided by reef-associated tourism in Tobago was reckoned to be USD 43.5 Million in 2006 (15 per cent of GDP). ProEcoServ pilot countries - from the world's driest desert in Chile to the southernmost reaches of the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam have met a number of milestones and achieved success since the project was launched in 2011. The momentum built over the past three years promises to bolster investment into ecosystem services and integrate them into policy and sustainable development planning. Use of ProEcoServ maps and decision support tools in pilot country have been incorporated into: a new delineation of the main basins and sub-basins of the Comuna of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile; a National Water Resources Strategy in South Africa; a pilot Payment-for-Ecosystem Services/Eco-finance scheme in the Caura Valley in the Northern Range of Trinidad, and national legislation in Viet Nam including its National Strategy for Green Growth and National Strategy for Environmental Protection to 2020, Vision to 2030. ProEcoServ pilot countries South Africa warn that if we do not act now, and if invasive alien plants are not removed, they will continue to spread, eventually using up to 60 per cent of South Africa's water runoff annually. Similarly, ProEcoServ in Trinidad and Tobago cautions that without insect pollinators like bees, cucumber crops in the country would lose between 75 – 100% of their yield. Main organizers of the dialogue are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam, the United Nations En
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: UNEP Workshop and Policy Dialogue on 'Incorporating Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, into National Development Policy', Cambridge, UK, 20-21 September 2014: CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: UNEP Workshop and Policy Dialogue on 'Incorporating Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, into National Development Policy', Cambridge, UK, 20-21 September 2014 An economic perspective on ecosystem management is essential for decision-makers managing resource constraints, conflicts and trade-offs while designing and implementing development policies. Economics provides some tools and methods for considering how to make these trade-offs, and how to deal with these constraints. UNEP's VANTAGE (Valuation & Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy) program and ProEcoServ (Project on Ecosystem Services) aims to mainstream ecosystem services into fiscal, monetary, trade and investment policy of countries through economic tools. In order to provide a setting within which policy makers and academics can discuss these problems and issues; UNEP is calling for participation in a Training Workshop to occur at Kings College Cambridge on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September. The workshop is intended to enhance knowledge and skills of participants on the application of economics to the problem of incorporating the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into national policies. Specific focuses of the workshop include:       Economic Instruments       Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity        Natural Capital Accounting        Payment for Ecosystem Services        Policy context of Market Based Instruments        Case Studies It will also provide a platform for networking among experts, policy-makers and practitioners. Participants will also have the opportunity to continue their stay at Kings College through the 22 September to include attendance of sessions of the BIOECON Annual Conference on September 22-23. Resource Persons        Prof. Giles Atkinson, Dept. of Geography and Environment, LSE        Prof. Stefanie Engel, Dept. of Environment and Economics, ETH Zurich       Dr. Kirk Hamilton, formerly with The World Bank       Prof. Nick Hanley, University of St. Andrews        Dr. Pushpam Kumar, Chief, Ecosystem Services Unit, UNEP        Prof. James Salzman, Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University        Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Chief Scientist, UNEP        Prof. William Sutherland, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge To apply: Policy makers and academics from developing countries are especially invited to apply to attend this workshop and the conference. Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in the workshop, a CV and (if available) an authored research or policy paper on a subject related to the workshop themes. All applications should be sent by email to Kristine Kjeldsen ( and Ruth Watulo ( by July 31, 2014. Successful applicants will be contacted by August 7, 2014. Applicants accepted to attend the workshop will receive a travel stipend to enable economy travel to and from Cambridge University, as well as accommodation and meals at Kings College on September 20-22.  Download the Announcement and Call for Participants document 1.       Economic Instruments 2.       Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity 3.       Natural Capital Accounting 4.       Payment for Ecosystem Services 5.       Policy context of Market Based Instruments Case Studies

Integrating Ecosystem Services in Strategic Environmental Assessment: A guide for practitioners


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