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Global Program on Sustainability

GPS Pillars

Pillar 1: Information

Global information on natural capital and sustainability

Objective:  Develop a global information base and tools to inform policy and investment decisions.

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The notion of sustainability has taken centerstage in the global agenda on development policies and financing, primarily because of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Bank’s own work on The Changing Wealth of Nations has made significant progress by showing that a country’s assets— natural capital, produced capital, and human capital—underpin National Income; and that sustainable development requires increasing per capita wealth over time. However, important gaps remain, both in terms of adequately measuring and monitoring the different components of natural capital and the associated ecosystem services; and of promoting the use of that information to inform policy and investment decisions.

Pillar 1 of GPS addresses these challenges. First by measuring sustainability, including improved global measurements of natural capital and ecosystem services. This will also involve evaluating the national, sector and local sustainability performance of countries. The goal is to develop a data platform and tools to assess, natural capital and ecosystem services in physical and monetary terms in countries; and analyze the linkages between environmental degradation and socio-economic outcomes.

Second by mainstreaming sustainability. Activities to be supported include producing high-level publication for the broader development community like The Changing Wealth of Nations and policy papers on greening fiscal, trade and governance regimes. This component will also focus on mainstreaming sustainability concerns in World Bank products and processed like the Country Partnership Frameworks as well as the new Environment and Social Framework. The program will also focus on mainstreaming sustainability issues into the risk assessment and investment processes of the financial sector – as described in Pillar 3.