South Africa’s first-ever national Natural Capital Accounting Forum will take place in Pretoria at ISIbalo House at Statistics South Africa on 10-11 July 2019. The Forum is hosted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
It aims to explore how natural capital accounting can support South Africa’s progress towards a green economy, including its linkages to South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The two-day meeting will convene a range of actors including the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, the Departments of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Rural Development and Land Reform, Water and Sanitation, and National Treasury, as well as the private sector and NGOs.
Natural capital accounting (NCA), which brings environmental, social and economic information into an accounting framework, provides vitally needed information. Through NCA, decision makers get a clearer picture of the full extent and health of the country’s natural assets as well as the many links between the economy, ecology and environment.
In his recent State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to the call by youth to “protect our planet”. He called for extraordinary measures to realise the Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan. NCA can help measure progress in implementation of the NDP.
South Africa’s NCA Forum has received strong endorsement from the international community.
“Natural capital accounting has been gaining a lot of traction in the past few years, and for good reason. Now, more than ever, policymakers are realizing the need to move beyond GDP and other traditional measures,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Elliott Harris.
“The National Forum is an important step for natural capital accounting in South Africa and a model for creating a productive dialogue on this important topic.”
South Africa is at the forefront of the global NCA movement. It is one of five countries (along with Brazil, China, India and Mexico) participating in an international project on natural capital accounting – the NCA and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCA&VES) Project. The project is co-led in South Africa by Stats SA and the SANBI, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and global project leaders, the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and UN Environment, with funding from the European Union. South Africa is the first of the pilot countries to hold a National NCA Forum.
Early highlights from South Africa’s new national land and ecosystem accounts will be presented at the Forum. Speakers will include the Statistician-General, the CEO of SANBI, and the EU Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.
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