Biodiversity is an essential part of Uganda’s ‘natural capital stock’, underpinning the delivery of the ecosystem services that support economic activity and the wellbeing of its people. However, traditional assessments of economic progress and development planning can often neglect the value of biodiversity. Decision makers then aren’t able to take biodiversity fully into account, encouraging inefficient and unsustainable growth, as well as ultimately requiring new infrastructure to replace the benefits that nature used to provide. This loss of benefits can disproportionately impact the rural poor since much of their real income is dependent upon ecosystem services. Uganda’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), National Development Plan (section 1.2.11) and Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS) all recognise these challenges. Collectively, these plans recognise the need to manage natural capital to deliver economic development and poverty alleviation. The plans also identify natural capital accounting as a strategic intervention towards improved management.
This Darwin Initiative-funded project, led by UNEP-WCMC, supports decision makers to consider both the environment and the economy in their plans, ultimately supporting green growth, alleviating poverty and accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Targets.
The project will achieve this in a number of ways:
- Integrating the value of biodiversity into national reporting, poverty reduction, and planning processes
- Raising the awareness of the value of biodiversity-related natural capital
- Organising biodiversity-related natural capital data using the internationally agreed accounting frameworks (System Environmental Economic Accounting).
- Building communities of practice in Uganda by strengthening capacity to both compile and use the natural capital accounts
- Institutionalising this accounting approach by supporting sectors to use the accounts in their development planning
The project is purposefully aligned with regional and global initiatives on natural capital accounting, including the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainable in Africa, the UN Environment/UN Statistical Division project on Natural Capital Accounting and Ecosystem Service Valuation, and the World Bank Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services programme. This further increases the potential impact of the project and provides opportunities for shared learning and support.
The E-Learning Course based on project outputs can be found here: https://ncaelearning.unep-wcmc.org/.
The other outputs from the project can be accessed via the link to the related resources for the Project, Integrating Natural Capital Into Sustainable Decision-Making in Uganda, found below.