The Natural Capital Policy Forum is the Global Program on Sustainability’s signature annual event. 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.
Held over two days in early November, this year's Policy Forum focused on financing for nature, with discussion on the role of natural capital and ecosystem services data and analytics in investment and policy decisions. Bringing together decision makers, researchers, academics and civil society representatives, emphasis was on connecting users—primarily the investment community and policy makers—with the data and analytics, and the data producers.
The panel’s discussion coalesced around four meaningful actions to fill the nature financing gap.
Improve data and analytics to reflect the needs of public and private actors. This includes developing common metrics, decision-support tools (such as natural capital accounting) and scenarios of nature losses using macro-level approaches to support financing investments in nature. In addition, action-oriented analytics that provide information on how to phase out nature-harming subsidies (and repurpose them) would improve policy coherence in policy and support new investments in nature.
Leverage finance for both nature and climate goals. In the public sector, this would take the form of aligning the ambitions from the Convention on Biodiversity with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the global level; and harmonizing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) at the country level. The result would ease public financing of nature-based solutions at the local level, in support of climate mitigation and adaptation activities. In the private sector, efforts such as G20’s Sustainable Finance Working Group are bringing together public regulators with private financial actors to deliver a coherent road map for sustainable finance.
Disclose and track better. Several initiatives, such as the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF); update of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the final report of the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and the E.U.’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD); are being introduced to encourage private companies to disclose how their operations affect and are affected by nature-climate. Improving communication and coordination between these efforts, including by sharing terminology and metrics, would make nature-climate disclosures more effective.
Support regulators, finance ministries and industry associations. In the public sector, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action is undertaking assessments of nature-risks to help policymakers incorporate such losses into sovereign decision-making and investments. In the private sector, efforts like the One Planet Business for Biodiversity are supporting private businesses as they adopt, implement and measure sustainable agricultural practices in their operations. Such professional knowledge sharing networks foster peer learning, which will be critical for transformational change.
You can watch the opening, closing and selected clips from the Forum below.