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Global Policy Forum on Natural Capital 2024

March 5-6, 2024
Kigali, Rwanda

The Global Policy Forum on Natural Capital is the signature annual event of the Global Program on Sustainability. Co-organized with the United Nations Statistics Division, the Forum aims to connect users—primarily the investment community and policy makers—with both data and analytics, and data providers, to share knowledge and experiences on incorporating natural capital accounting and approaches in decision making.

The 7th Global Policy Forum on Natural Capital, Implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework: Leveraging Natural Capital Data, Accounting and Analysis to Inform Policies, taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, will bring together governments and other relevant stakeholders to discuss the policies that will help with the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and thus contribute to the achievement of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) goals and targets. Over two days, sessions will focus on and highlight the importance and need to leverage existing data and analytics on natural capital and ecosystem services, including natural capital accounting, to design such policies and actions.

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The overarching objective of the Forum is to understand how data and analytics on natural capital and ecosystem services could be leveraged to align national biodiversity strategies and policies to support the implementation of the GBF.

To achieve this objective, the Forum will facilitate discussions and sharing of experiences, lessons learnt, and good practices on four key themes:

1. Economic case for nature

This session will consider the underlying economic case for nature, demonstrating how economic growth and sustainable development are dependent on nature and ecosystem services. It will discuss the market and institutional constraints that contribute to biodiversity loss and shape climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The session will present recent efforts to couple macroeconomic models with biophysical models to examine the economic and environmental outcomes, including the growth and poverty reduction gains from implementing nature-friendly policies for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. The session will also discuss how economic information on ecosystem services can inform local decisions that affect natural capital and human wellbeing, including prioritization of landscape investments.

2. Natural capital data, NCA and analysis for biodiversity and ecosystems 

To achieve the goals and targets of the GBF, it is imperative that countries integrate nature into the overall economic policy framework, including streamlining economic incentives and nature-positive policy and investment decision making. To do so, countries require data and evidence on changes in extent, condition, and services of ecosystems to formulate, implement, monitor and assess the impacts of policies and actions. Data and analytics, including NCA that brings together data on ecosystems and the economy, are well placed to support this. This session will discuss how such natural capital approaches can inform the GBF and show how countries have been using such data and evidence to inform their biodiversity strategies, action plans and related policies, and what needs to be done to improve availability of data and evidence on natural capital and biodiversity to inform implementation of the GBF.

3. Getting the incentives right for biodiversity conservation

This session will explore and discuss specific policy reforms aimed at shifting incentives for firms, farmers, and households. It will discuss incentives and policies required to move away from behaviors and financial decisions that harm biodiversity and degrade ecosystem services, and instead encourage actions that enhance them. Additionally, the session will examine how economy-wide asset diversification strategies can contribute to national goals on biodiversity and climate, particularly in countries heavily reliant on extractive sectors and agricultural commodities. Case studies and analyses will be presented to demonstrate the impact of these policy reforms on the environment, economic growth and poverty reduction. The session will also provide a platform for national representatives to share their experiences in implementing policy instruments for nature conservation and human well-being.

4. Mobilizing finance for biodiversity targets

This session aims to address the critical issue of closing the biodiversity finance gap and securing funding for the implementation of the GBF. By bringing together experts and country representatives, the session will facilitate discussions on various aspects related to biodiversity finance. Participants will explore the current state of biodiversity finance, including the challenges and opportunities in mobilizing public and private resources for biodiversity conservation. The session will also focus on the GBF resource mobilization strategy, examining its effectiveness and potential areas for improvement. Additionally, participants will discuss the role of existing and new instruments (including markets for biodiversity) to leverage private finance for biodiversity conservation. Through these discussions, the session aims to generate insights, recommendations, and potential solutions to improve financing biodiversity in support of GBF implementation in developing countries.