Leading organisations convene in the Natural Capital Week 2019 to scale up action in favour of nature

On 4-8 November 2019, more than 300 delegates representing business, finance, government and civil society will convene for the first time in the Spanish capital for Natural Capital Week 2019. The week-long meeting is being championed by leading international business networks who are bringing their communities together in advance of key political decisions on nature in 2020.


Organisations participating in the week have united under the understanding that they are fundamentally dependant on the health of natural capital, and that its degradation places severe costs on businesses and economies while making addressing other global challenges, such as climate change and global inequality, significantly more difficult. They also recognise that protecting, restoring and understanding their relationship with nature is in their own economic interest and that business has to play a leading role in convincing governments that an urgent response to the loss of nature is required.


During the week, leading businesses will explain how a natural capital approach is giving them the tools necessary to mitigate risk, identify opportunities for efficiency, resilience and innovation, and enabling them to deliver value for nature and people alongside their businesses.


They will also explore how taking action to protect nature can empower them to make positive contributions towards people and communities, for instance by promoting human health and well-being, societal resilience, sustainable development, and making progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


During Natural Capital Week 2019 organizers will also formally collect business actions and commitments that contribute to the United Nations (UN) Biodiversity’s Action Agenda for Nature and People. This is part of a global biodiversity framework that countries are expected to adopt during the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) taking place in China in 2020. Business for Nature will launch a business consultation survey to test draft policy recommendations for governments to address the nature crisis.


Alongside the several hundred business representatives attending Natural Capital Week 2019, the week will host leading governmental and intergovernmental delegates including Daniel Calleja – European Commission Director General for Environment, Hugo Morán – Secretary of State for Environment from the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition, and Terhi Letonen, Secretary of State of Finland.

Statements from Natural Capital Week 2019 organisers

The new political priorities of the European Commission´s President-elect call for the preservation and restoration of ecosystems to guide all of our work. We are working on a new Green Deal with a new Biodiversity Strategy that will provide new opportunities for businesses to invest in – and better care – for nature. In our EU Business and Biodiversity Platform we are partnering with many front-running companies to develop new tools which will enable companies to contribute to tackle the biodiversity crisis through integrating their dependencies on nature into their daily management practices.”

Spain has a rich natural heritage of which we feel very proud, although it also represents a great responsibility. The Natural Capital Week 2019 underlines once again the necessary involvement of the business sector in biodiversity restoration and conservation to find a solution to the serious crisis that loss of biodiversity represents to the world. Businesses benefit direct and indirectly from biodiversity and the services it provides and therefore can and must play a key role in conserving nature. Consequently, initiatives and forums like the Natural Capital Week are crucial to make visible existing contributions made by businesses in this field. They are also vital to promote new initiatives by strengthening collaboration between private and public sectors to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change together. The week-long meeting will undoubtedly contribute to mobilize business commitments and contributions to new biodiversity goals to be agreed by 2020.”

“It is very encouraging to hear that we have a large number of participants signed up for the Natural Capital Week. Economic activities are currently driving global biodiversity decline and result in loss of natural capital. It is urgent that governments and business engage together to find new solutions and net-positive results for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. We need to raise the awareness of corporate leaders of the relevance of maintaining biodiversity for the economy. It is critical that companies and politicians see the tight connection between restoring and maintaining natural capital and climate action. Climate crisis and biodiversity loss require common solutions, and private sector has an important role in solving both. For us in government, it is crucial that we create the right policy incentives to trigger scaled up action on the ground which is supporting - instead of harming - biodiversity.”

At the heart of a natural capital approach is the understanding that nature underpins human health, wealth, culture, identity and happiness, and that we can create value for nature, people and the economy by making decisions informed by our relationships with the natural world. As the concept of natural capital continues to move towards the top of the international agenda, Natural Capital Week provides a crucial space for our community to come together and organise in advance of the key decisions that will be made by the international community in 2020.”

Given the overwhelming scientific evidence, the believe that nature will continue to be a regular provider of the conditions we need to prosper is no longer tenable. In view of this situation we are challenged to make radical changes, starting now. To this end through natural capital, its links to the post-2020 biodiversity framework and by showing real examples of groundbreaking business practices and solutions organisations involved in the Natural Capital Week 2019 aim to mobilize decision-makers from business, financial institutions, governments and civil society along with other voices at all levels of organisations to demonstrate how nature can be a powerful ally in global efforts to limit climate change and its impacts on people and the planet.”

"Natural Capital Week in Madrid is a signal that nature is rising up the business, political and public agenda, but also that the broader natural capital community collaborates effectively. Over 30 leading business and conservation organisations are unifying the business voice to encourage ambitious policy on nature in 2020. The Business for Nature coalition will build on company commitments and actions to sound the alarm to urgently stop nature loss, as well as tackle climate change and address inequality. The week will mark a critical milestone towards the 2020 super year.”

The recent IPBES report called for transformational change in societies and economies to address the catastrophic decline of nature worldwide. We are dependent on nature for all our economic activity. Winning the battle against climate change will be an empty, Pyrrhic Victory if we lose the battle against biodiversity loss. This cannot be tackled by governments and civil society alone. A small number of frontrunner businesses now recognise this and are moving to shift their business models and fully account for natural capital and biodiversity in their decisionmaking and investments, This movement must go mainstream and with urgency. The We Value Nature campaign is working to accelerate business uptake of natural capital thinking by business across Europe, in support of the Natural Capital Coalition and the Business for Nature initiative.

Natural Capital Week 2019 organisers

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