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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations Environment Programme’

Africa’s Natural Resources – the need to place value

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya, December 2, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African Ministers and Experts Spotlight Efforts to Incorporate Natural Wealth Accounting in Development Planning

What: Press conference on “Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE)” in Africa meeting

When: Wednesday, 4 December 10:30 a.m.

Where: Press Room, UN Compound, Gigiri

Who:

Natural capital is a critical asset, especially for low-income countries where it makes up around 36 per cent of total wealth, according to World Bank estimates. For these countries, especially in Africa, livelihoods depend directly on healthy ecosystems.

Incorporating natural capital into national accounts can support better decisions for inclusive development.

Natural capital is not readily captured in markets, so we don’t really know how much ecosystem services contribute to the economy and livelihoods. We often take these services for granted and don’t know what it would cost if we lose them.

Natural capital accounting can provide detailed statistics for better management of the economy.

For example, land and water accounts can help countries interested in increasing hydro-power capacity to assess the value of competing land uses and the optimal way to meet this goal.

Ecosystem accounts can help biodiversity-rich countries design a management strategy that balances tradeoffs among ecotourism, agriculture, subsistence livelihoods, and ecosystem services like flood protection and groundwater recharge.

The international VANTAGE conference – which will take place in Nairobi from 3 to 4 December 2013 – will showcase successful efforts by countries and organizations to value and account for natural capital.

Such pioneering initiatives go beyond the traditional growth and development measurements such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contribute to building inclusive green economies.

More than 100 participants will take part in the conference, including 5 African ministers and 3 deputy ministers.

The expected outcome document will chart the way forward for the VANTAGE programme, including ways it can support governments in incorporating natural resource accounting in their national wealth indicators.

 

SOURCE

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

 

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Government triples funding for combating forest crime through INTERPOL

Posted by African Press International on August 10, 2013

The Norwegian Government is stepping up its efforts to combat deforestation. Around 40 % of logging in tropical forests is illegal. “The world’s “green lungs” need to be protected. The Government’s decision to triple its support for INTERPOL is a clear signal that we take the fight against illegal logging seriously,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

The International Climate and Forest Initiative is a priority area for the Norwegian Government. Norway is now increasing its support for phase two of an international police cooperation project targeting the illegal logging industry, which is worth between NOK 240 billion and NOK 600 billion globally. The efforts that Norway is supporting have so far helped to ensure that illegal timber worth NOK 288 million has been seized.

“It is crucial that we fight the organised criminal networks that are earning huge amounts of money from deforestation. There is no point spending lots of money on rainforest conservation if criminals then simply chop the forest down,” Mr Holmås said.

Norway is also allocating NOK 15 million to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for projects targeting forest crime.

Through INTERPOLs Project LEAF, Norway is supporting training for national police authorities in investigating and taking action against illegal logging. In the most recent operation, rainforest timber equivalent to 20 000 truckloads was seized by police in Venezuela and Costa Rica. Similar operations are being planned in Asia and Africa.

Project LEAF (Law Enforcement Assistance for Forests) is a consortium initiative led by INTERPOL and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) centre in Norway (UNEP GRID Arendal). The initiative is funded by the Government of Norway and managed by Norad (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

 

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