MARCH 2013
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This Issue's Theme

The Green Economy and Natural Capital are continuously expanding areas of work for IUCN in an attempt to change the rules of the game for business from a voluntary to a compulsory system where all business will have to incorporate natural capital and biodiversity values into their operations and institutions. Work needs to continue in these areas by all stakeholders (including governments, companies and the finance sector) to realize the economic benefit and potential of incorporating ecosystems and ecosystem services within our current economy and start investing in our planets natural wealth. These were some of the themes that were discussed during the Business and Ecosystems Think-Tank co-hosted by IUCN and WBCSD and will be a major focus of the new MoU between WBCSD and IUCN that was announced in Jeju.

“To be part of the solution, companies need to raise the profile of nature conservation in their boardrooms and recognize the value of nature to their bottom lines”.

Rachel Kyte, Vice President, the World Bank


IUCN position paper on Green Economy

Ask an Expert

Oliver Greenfield-The Green Economy Coalition

IUCN posed several questions to Oliver Greenfield, Convenor for the Green Economy Coalition.


  • What are the benefits of investing in Natural Capital and a Green Economy?
  • What role do you think that Business has is incorporating Natural Capital into their operations?
  • How does Business fit into the greater Green Economy framework?
  • What is the role of policy and policy makers in enabling the uptake of a Green Economy?
  • What is the Green Economy Coalition’s future work plan for 2013-2016?

Read His Responses


Oliver Greenfield-Green Economy Coalition
Exploring a Green Economy and Natural Capital

Regional Lens: Transitioning to a Green Economy in Africa

Most developing countries aim to accelerate economic growth through the expansion of their industrial base as a means to generate jobs, increase public revenue, expand social services and ultimately reduce poverty. However options are limited for the majority of developing countries and while diversification of FDI beyond primary commodities is seen as desirable there is still a heavy reliance on the natural resource base as a key driver of growth. This reliance comes at a cost as ecosystems are disrupted which in turn can significantly impact livelihoods of rural communities...


Read the full article

North Africa basin
A hummingbird hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum, Family Sphingidae) hovering for food from a rosemary flower (Rosmarinus oficinallis)

The Case for Environmental Profit and Loss Accounting

Natural capital is the land, air, water, living organisms and all formations of the Earth's biosphere that provide life supporting ecosystem goods and services and vital input to business activities. Yet, as many of these goods and services belong to the commons, the lack of a price signal allows the conversion of natural capital for free, to provide food, fibre, fodder and fuel. When prices do not reflect the true social and environmental costs of such uses, the costs or benefits to society of doing business are not reflected in corporate decision-making, share prices or profit and loss statements.


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Leaders for Nature Forum: Incorporating Natural Capital

Over 230 representatives from the LfN and IUCN network came together in the inspiring Awarehouse of Interface to ‘Incorporate Natural Capital’. A day full of interaction, networking, training, co-creation and the translation of all this into tangible action plans and programmes.


During his key note speech at the beginning of the forum, Peter Bakker challenged participants to scale-up sustainable solutions. Natural capital is key to business and economy, and business need to act now, to integrate natural capital in all business processes & strategies. In 8 different workshops participants learned how to start incorporating natural capital into their companies. They discussed how to measure business impacts (a workshop facilitated by Violaine Berger, WBCSD), develop the business case, develop a strategy, start acting and incorporating natural capital (a workshop facilitated by Peter Bakker, WBCSD), engage colleagues and successfully cooperate and form partnerships.

For more information on this event

Leaders for Nature-IUCN NL
Green Economy Coalition

The Coalition We Want

After the dust of the Rio+20 conference settled, the members of the Green Economy Coalition met to roll up their sleeves to continue to build a green economy at all levels. On 26 and 27 February 2013, at IUCN’s Headquarters, a simple fact comes again as unquestionable evidence: a green economy cannot be built and implemented by a single organization or entity separately. This is the strength and necessity of the coalition that unites UN organizations, business, trade unions, think tanks and NGOs from the social and environmental movements. It is the largest coalition on green economy at the moment.


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Energy utility RWE and IUCN join forces for nature

A recent agreement between IUCN and RWE formalized through the signing of a MoU at the World Economic Forum in Davos is the starting point for testing the feasibility, the boundaries and the datasets required to set and environmental profit and loss account for one RWE operational site before hopefully, scaling this up to winder company level and other business activities.

By aiming at an environmental profit and loss account at a company level, RWE will fully integrate its environment and relevant social impacts into its financial measurement system.Groups the French PPR group have launched just such an initiative for their Puma brand in 2012. IUCN will contribute its biodiversity and ecosystem valuation expertise to this environmental profit and loss accounting.


Read Full Article

Solar panels in the desert
Destruction left by tropical storm Stan in Mexico

The Nature of Risk: A message to world leaders at Davos

In mid-January, movers and shakers from the worlds of politics, business and civil society decended on the picturesque Swiss village of Davos for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. In these turbulent times for the world’s decision makers, it is hardly surprising that the 2013 Forum takes the theme of “Resilient Dynamism”, with the focus on minimizing risks and boosting the resilience of our economies and societies.

As the precarious state of the global economy and the ongoing political upheavals in many parts of the world are grabbing headlines, there is one neglected—yet absolutely critical—feature of successful risk management: playing safe with our planet...

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  • What is the difference between the concept of a Green Economy and Sustainable Development?
  • What are the implications of a Green Economy for poverty reduction?
  • What does the Green Economy imply for biodiversity conservation?
  • What implication does a Green Economy have on the notion of economic growth?

Learn the answers to these questions

Event Preview

The Valuing Nature Network

The Valuing Nature Network event will highlight successes from the Network, including insights into partnership working between academia, policy and business; and the benefits of working across academic disciplines.

19 March 2013. London, UK

More information


Expert Roundtable on Biodiversity Indicators for Business

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the European Business and Biodiversity Campaign invite biodiversity experts from companies, auditors and scientific institutions to identify and evaluate indicators for biodiversity and assess further research and collaboration needs related to corporate biodiversity indicators.  

27th March
PwC offices, Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 35-37, Frankfurt, Germany

More information

Wetlands of Viet Nam

World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty

The World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty brings together representatives from governments, the development community, civil society, academia, and the private sector to discuss issues of concern to communities, land practitioners and policymakers worldwide. The conference aims to foster dialogue and sharing of good practices around the diversity of reforms, approaches and experiences that are being implemented in the land sector around the world.

8th-13th April. Washington D.C

More information

Trondheim Conferences

The 7th Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity: Ecology and Economy for a Sustainable Society

The 2013 conference will explore challenges related to the implementation of Goal A in CBD’s Strategic plan 2011-2020 and its Aichi targets. Goal A commits countries to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society. It represents a potentially resource-effective and green growth-oriented pathway towards the mission of the strategic plan

27th-31st May. Trondheim, Norway 

More information


ICMM Independent Report on Biodiversity Offsets

ICMM Biodiversity offsets report

Key issues related to the successful implementation of biodiversity offsets.


The business case for:

  • offsets
  • principles and methods
  • application to the mining sector
  • best-practice case studies
  • relationship to ecosystem services
  • remaining challenges.

TEEB-The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

TEEB Publication


  • The Importance of Water and Wetlands
  • Improving Measurement and Assessment for Better Governance
  • Integrating the Value of Water and Wetlands into Decision-Making
  • Transforming the Management Approach to Water and Wetlands
  • Case Studies

BSR Global Public Sector Trends in Ecosystem Services 2009-2013

BSR Global Public Sector Trends in
Ecosystem Services 2009-2012

Published in Feburary 2013, this document was developed to help business people track the public sector’s uptake of ecosystem services concepts around the world.


  • Emerging Trends
  • Pathways Forward

Identifying and Mobilizing Resources for Biodiversity Conservation

IUCN Economics

This report provides a baseline assessment of global spending on biodiversity conversation and why biodiversity conservation fails to attract the resources necessary to halt the decline in biodiversity.


  • Policy interventions and market-based mechanisms that may help reverse this trend.
  • Framework for assessing how much finance is mobilized for biodiversity, including direct and indirect support from public and private sources, at national and international levels.
  • Baseline assessment of current global spending on biodiversity from public and private sources, at national and international levels.
  • Estimate of resources mobilized for biodiversity through private commercial spending on products and services.
  • Estimate of resources mobilized through new sources of private commercial transfers.
  • Private and public sector spending on biodiversity in country case-studies - Switzerland, UK, USA, Germany, and Brazil. 


Engagement Updates

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI)

ASI The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) has been spearheaded by several industry players with the support of IUCN. ASI’s first goal is to develop the ASI Standard to foster responsible resource management of aluminium through the entire value-chain.


Read Full Article


Holcim Ecuador Updates

Planta HOLCIM - Ecuador The leading cement producer HOLCIM signed an agreement with the South American regional office of IUCN that will enable the company to use green tools for more sustainable practices.

Read More


UNEP-Green Economy News

UNEP logo For UNEP News on Green Economy


Business and Biodiversity Campaign

Business and Biodiversity Campaign Business and Biodiversity Newsletter



IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2013

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

Photo credits: Header © Revensis, Message from Business © Daniel Marker; Bonn Challenge © Jean-Philippe Palasi; TFD Workshop © WBCSD Sugarcane © flickr.com/photos/innoxiuss/442836237/ ; Forest © IUCN; Tom Brooks © Tom Brooks; Holcim © Maria Ana Borges