The Inclusive Wealth Report Applauded at the Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity

CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias and Abdul Hamid Zakri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in their keynote addresses at the 2013 Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity acknowledged the Inclusive Wealth Report (IWR) as an innovative and convincing approach to measuring economic progress beyond GDP.  

Stressing the need for broader social science input for the CBD’s programme of work and its efforts in reaching the Aichi Targets, Mr. Dias highlighted the need for better tools, such as the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI), to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into national accounting.

Touching on issues such as the post-2015 development agenda, Mr. Zakri noted the need to ensure the Aichi targets are fully taken into account and to develop a vision going beyond gross domestic product (GDP), along the lines of the Inclusive Wealth Index, which aims to capture the value of natural resources.

Upon invitation by the CBD, the IWR was presented to the Plenary by IHDP Executive Director Anantha Duraiappah and UNEP Chief of the Ecosystem Services Economics Unit Pushpam Kumar. As part of a new IWR partnership, comprising UNU-IHDP, UNEP, and UNESCO, the Report proposes an index to measure the wealth of nations based on a comprehensive analysis of a country's capital assets, including manufactured, human, and natural capital, thus offering a method for measuring wealth that incorporates long-term development sustainability, and was well-received by the biodiversity and ecosystem services community.

Explaining how the IWR’s measurements of natural capital offer meaningful information for the Aichi targets – including in the areas of fossil fuels, fisheries, and forest resources – the speakers highlighted the report’s potential to offer insights on key policy questions, such as the sustainable rate of consumption of society’s productive base and the identification of key investments to strengthen that base.

The seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity which took place under the title “Ecology and Economy for a Sustainable Society” provided input to the CBD’s preparations for the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-12). The event aimed to advance a scientifically informed dialogue on critical issues on the agenda of the CBD after the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012. This year saw particular focus on addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.