Dec 3-4, 2013 experts and government officials from Africa and around the world convened at UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE) in Africa.IISD reporting services coveredthe event.
Franz Gatzweiler pointed out to the fact that many countries have developed institutional frameworks for the sustainable management of natural resources. In processes of reform and decentralization the attempt is to adjust those institutions for the management of forest resources to changing socio-ecological circumstances. The same adjustmentsneed to be made to methods of valuing and accounting for natural capital to reflect changing human-nature relationships. Social processes for valuing are increasingly recognized in economics. The outcome of such deliberative processes are institutions which can be used as an indication of how societies value their natural environment.
Franz Gatzweiler presented results from the International Forest Resources and Institutions research program in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia that show how forests have declined due to institutions which do not take into account the livelihoods of people and fail to provide incentives for sustainable forest management. Poverty and wealth can both be drivers of deforestation unless institutions are in place which structure human-nature interactions. An institutions-adjusted measure for natural capital of inclusive wealth would inform about the actual attemps made by countries to sustain natural capital. Such measure of wealth would include nature-related social capital of countries who attempt to transform towards Green Economies.