Dr. Theodora-Dionysia Avgerinopoulou, Chair of the Environment Committee of the Hellenic Parliament, Director of the European Institute of Law, Science & Technology and Member of the Environment and Energy Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and ICC Greece participates at the Natural Capital Week that takes place from November 5-9, 2019, in Madrid, Spain.

The Natural Capital Week focuses, among others, on developing better management tools to be employed by the private sector, in order to mitigate impacts of the sector upon our natural capital (our natural resources, ecosystems and ecosystem services) and also generate actions of support by the private sector for nature. It is being co-organized by an important number of organizations and networks, such as the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), the EU, the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity, the Natural Capital Coalition and the Business for Nature coalition, a new coalition of leading global organizations, including WBCSD, WEF and ICC, who have come together to convene a united business voice to advocate on behalf of nature. Before the commencement of the meeting, the European Institute of Law, Science and Technology submitted its application to join the Natural Capital Coalition.

The Week commenced with the 9th Annual Meeting of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) discussing various initiatives, such as the Action Agenda for Nature and People and the steps towards the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  Dr. Avgerinopoulou held a bilateral meeting with the Chair of GPBB, Mr. George Jaksch, and they agreed to explore the possibility to establish a national Partnership for Business and Biodiversity in Greece in order to join the Global Partnership.

The Business for Nature global coalition will bring an aggregated business voice to the negotiations, calling on governments to adopt a new deal for nature and people that would provide the policy signals that are necessary to scale up business action. 2020 will be a super-year for nature. Governments will have the opportunity to forge international agreements to reverse nature loss, including a post-2020 framework on biodiversity, which will accelerate the delivery of the UN SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Dr. Avgerinopoulou attended the Business for Nature Consultation Workshop, that aimed to  convene a united business voice in these negotiations. Natural Capital Coalition partners will be developing detailed policy recommendations to governments, presenting the policies needed to transform the current economic and financial systems and encourage businesses to scale-up existing actions and commitments at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020 and then during CBD COP 15 in Cumning in China in February 2020. Ιn the build up to the crucial Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China in 2020, the Natural Capital Coalition is also launching the “Natural Capital Commitment”. They are asking businesses to commit to apply natural capital thinking, to act upon the results to improve their decision-making, and to conserve and enhance the natural capital upon which we all depend. Best practice will be published and promoted as inspiration for other businesses and governments.

Last but not least, the inter-relationship between business and government in order to effectively protect biodiversity was emphasized in the conversations. The current loss of nature is degrading the natural systems that underpin our thriving societies and prosperous economies. Forward-thinking businesses understand that global economic prosperity relies on a healthy natural world and are already committing and acting on nature protection, restoration and sustainable use. However, they need governments to adopt policies to create a positive policy feedback-loop that encourage further business action.   In order to raise ambitions among the national Administrations, Dr. Avgerinopoulou, suggested that a consultative workshop be held in Athens, Greece, too. Representatives of the Natural Capital Coalition, offered participate in such a workshop, as well as in meetings with the Government, along with ICC Greece, the European Institute of Law, Science and Technology and biodiversity-related organizations.

In view of the workshop, we are kindly asking the members of the Business Community in Greece to fill out the following survey: Please, fill out a survey, available at: https://businessfornature.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72ab5b5ffbad33ae08f66fd61&id=b676df4f8b&e=40e4ef2afe

It is very important to understand, measure and taking into account the value of our natural capital when designing developmental and business-related policies. Nature supports business and business, if they want to keep being viable, should support nature back. Governments should help develop in a more sustainable way this relationship. However, it is not to forget that using the concept of natural ‘capital’ to highlight the economic value of nature does not preclude nature’s other important values, which include cultural and spiritual values as well the intrinsic value of nature beyond what humans need.