Many migratory birds begin their odyssey in the North American prairies, ending in the wintering sites of the Pampas grasslands. Also called the ‘Southern Cone’, these grasslands naturally extend across the entire territory of Uruguay, and parts of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Despite being of global importance for biodiversity, around 60% of their area has been replaced with other land uses.
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A conceptual framework based on accounting principles of stocks, flows, and investment can be applied to natural capital, social and cultural capital, human capital and financial and physical capitals. Development and application of this framework can help to reveal the environmental, social and economic impacts and interactions of prevailing land use (or other management) practices, and provide a way of assessing the effectiveness of different programmes for achieving desired management objectives.
In the Colombian Amazon, indigenous groups, women's organizations, the Sinchi Amazon Institute of Scientific Research, and the Ministry of Environment, implement Chagra’s Fairs (local name given to Agrobiodiversity Fairs) to empower initiatives based on principles of solidarity economy and traditional knowledge as an alternative to extractive economies that have historically operated in the region.
The systematic accounting of a country’s natural wealth and the goods and services the ecosystem offer, provides opportunities to generate information and better understand the natural environment’s contribution to the economy. This on the other hand offer support policies and decision in the pursuit of sustainable development taking into account environmental economic and socio-political dimensions.
In the Netherlands, a coalition of multinational and large Dutch companies is taking steps to make their impact on natural and social capital visible throughout their entire value chain, with the help of civil society organizations. This unique initiative of companies, NGOs and the government teaming-up. Their ambition is formalized in a "Green Deal" signed by IUCN-NL, True Price, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Netherlands and the Dutch government. The Green Deal is linked to the global Natural Capital Protocol.
Ibis Rice is a scheme, active since 2007 in three Protected Areas in Northern Cambodia, whereby communities are incentivized to protect critical habitat through sales of a high-quality agricultural product. Under the scheme, farmers that abide by the rules, including agreed land-use plans and no-hunting laws, are able to sell their rice through the village committee, which is legally mandated to administer the land-use plan.
Whilst the Earth’s diversity of species and habitats must be preserved first and foremost for their intrinsic value, the solution (from a socio-economic perspective) lies in recognizing and valuing nature for the ecological services it provides – upon which societies and economies are built. Nature, or “Natural Capital” – biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services – must be preserved and restored as the foundation of human societies and economies.
Historically, Mexico’s natural resources have benefited all the population by bringing essential goods in the form of food, construction materials and traditional medicine among others. But in recent decades, a growing economic activity based on heavy extraction of such resources and a lack of coordination among public policies have caused an increased pressure over the country’s biodiversity.
This best practice story is intended to show how, through Empowering 18 communities, the good governance became a reality. El Núcleo Endógeno de Desarrollo Socialista de Suruguapo (NUDESUR) is located in Portuguesa state, Venezuela. NUDESUR was created in 2006, by 34 joined villages, 18 from the foot hills and 16 from the mountains, with the favor of the Energy and Oil Ministry (MPPEP – Barinas), the financial support of the national oil company (PDVSA-División Boyacá Barinas), and connecting with 22 other Regional and National organizations.
TRY Oyster Women’s Association empowers a highly marginalized and economically vulnerable segment of Gambian society. The Association is an established group of 500 female oyster harvesters, with organized leadership, from 15 villages in the Greater Banjul area of The Gambia. It is creating positive change and economic transformation in local villages. Rather than struggling individually, as they once did, women harvesters are now part of a flourishing and widely recognized local enterprise.