St Helena Conference 2019

Nature's Benefits: Natural Capital in the South Atlantic

 

11 - 15 March 2019

 

‘Nature’s Benefits, Natural Capital in the South Atlantic’ – a JNCC supported conference in the St Helena

Conference Programme

Listen to the Conference live

 

Background

In March, representatives from all of the regional OTs, and international scientists will meet on the island of St Helena to discuss the social and economic importance of the environment to the UK’s South Atlantic Overseas Territories. The event will discuss not only the role of a ‘natural capital’ approach for environmental management and economic planning in the Territories themselves, but also lessons for small islands elsewhere in the world.

The United Kingdom’s inhabited Overseas Territories provide a home to approximately 220,000 people who are reliant on their natural environment – ‘nature’s benefits’ - for their economic welfare and security. The UK Government assists the Overseas Territories in their environmental management efforts and JNCC is funding the conference with support from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme.

 

The conference represents the culmination in the South Atlantic of a 30-month JNCC work programme under the title ‘Natural Capital in the Caribbean and South Atlantic Overseas Territories’ . JNCC has used this programme to take the lead on behalf of the UK Government in applying a natural capital approach to the OTs. The strategic aim is to provide better information for Territory governments on the benefits that the natural environment provides to society to allow aspirations for economic growth to be met whilst ensuring the ability of the environment to deliver these benefits is not compromised.

 

Natural capital accounting:

- is a relatively new approach that identifies the role and societal benefits of ecosystem goods and services through the application of a variety of scientific and economic techniques and new technologies;

-  is a unifying concept, and brings together a wide range of socio-economic and scientific data, adds value to existing data sets, identifies gaps in capacity and data, and delivers policy relevant information to politicians and planners;

-  in the Overseas Territories is a powerful tool to address the issues of high concern to these islands, economic security, disaster resilience and biodiversity conservation.

 

The conference

The JNCC approach has been participatory with a high level of engagement with each of the involved Territories to ensure widest possible involvement and to maximise the relevance of the work to Territories’ own policies and plans. The conference, organised for JNCC by the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), will bring together scientists, politicians and planners from the island, the region and further afield.

Presentations at the conference by JNCC staff and regional partners will:

- demonstrate the application and importance of a natural capital approach for the Overseas Territories and other small islands;

- showcase the results of the JNCC natural capital programme of work, including natural capital projects in the Caribbean;

- allow local researchers to present related work;

-  highlight the economic and biodiversity importance of the marine environment in the OTs, the scope for the future use of an NC approach to ensure it is managed wisely, and how JNCC’s lead role in UK marine natural capital assessment has implications for the OTs and internationally.

 

Useful Links

St Helena Conference 2019 - conference details and programme

Press Release - published prior to event

 

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