Gaborone Signatories Agree to Further Efforts on Valuing Natural Capital
6 November 2013: Eight of the ten countries signatory to the Gaborone Declaration - Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania - recently attended a two-day meeting to discuss their experiences with valuing and managing natural capital.
The countries considered the need to value natural capital better, and asked for more support with implementing Natural Capital Accounting (NCA), according to the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership. In a signed communiqué, the countries agreed to establish an interim secretariat in Botswana that would provide technical and financial support to countries willing to undertake NCA in the Africa region. The communiqué also urges stakeholders, in their discussions related to the post-2015 development agenda, to consider including the value of natural capital in the agenda and in the formation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The secretariat also will solicit more partners and countries in Africa to sign the declaration and "create a movement on natural capital being at the heart of all development decisions."
The Gaborone Declaration was endorsed at the Summit for Sustainability in Africa, convened prior to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in 2012. Among the participating countries' agreements were conclusions that "the historical pattern of natural resources exploitation has failed to promote sustained growth, environmental integrity and improved social capital, and that the value of natural capital must be fully accounted for and integrated into national and corporate planning and reporting practices, policies and programs." [WAVES News Report on Meeting in Gaborone] [WAVES Summary of post-meeting event] [Summit for Sustainability in Africa website]