global perspectives

WATCH: The White House ‘Knowledge in Nature’ event

21 May 2022 / WORDS BY Pollination

Today is UN International Day for Biological Diversity, which aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Momentum is building for greater action as the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world. In line with this The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently brought together multi-disciplinary experts to discuss how to protect nature and highlight that biodiversity is the answer to several sustainable development challenges.

Pollination Executive Director Carter Ingram participated in the virtual White House Office roundtable titled “Knowledge in Nature: How Nature Can Help Grow a Better Future”. The discussion brought together experts in economics, the environment, and infrastructure, with business, Tribal, governmental, and non-profit leaders to discuss what more we can do so that we and nature thrive and ensure that US Government policies reflect the foundational role of nature in achieving goals for climate, equity, and the economy.

The event also unveiled new Biden-Harris Administration initiatives for assessing, accounting for, and finding solutions in nature which was the fruit of several years’ of research by a panel of experts including Dr Ingram.

These include:

  • The first U.S. National Nature Assessment which will build on the wealth of existing data, scientific evidence, and Indigenous Knowledge to create a holistic picture of America’s lands, waters, wildlife, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to the economy, health, the climate, environmental justice, and national security. The assessment takes stock of the USA’s current natural assets, as well as looking ahead to anticipate how nature and its benefits might change in the future. This information is crucial to identify opportunities for nature to help achieve societal and economic goals. The National Nature Assessment will provide information to guide decisions about how ecosystem restoration funds could protect species in decline, support economic recovery, and overcome injustices done to communities with limited nature access. The assessment will provide a clear idea of which nature investments could make infrastructure more resilient—like using living shorelines to buffer rebuilt roads from storms and erosion, or pairing bridge-building with watershed management to help the bridge last longer. The Assessment will also indicate how effectively natural investments to combat climate change are working.
  • The launch of a Natural Capital Account initiative to connect changes in nature with changes in economic performance. These accounts will work with standard national accounting to measure the economic value that natural assets provide to society — from forests and reefs, to fish stocks and urban parks, to the quality of air and water. Natural assets will finally be reflected on the nation’s balance sheet, where they will reveal how future opportunities are changing — just like a balance sheet helps assess a business’s creditworthiness. This information fills important economic gaps and will help improve federal regulations and private business decisions. By connecting nature to the core economic statistics system, there will be a better understanding of who has access to nature’s economic benefits and who does not, reporting on several aspects of inequality that are currently difficult to measure. If it is possible to see how economic progress depends on nature, then it will be clear what’s at risk when if it is lost — and what’s to gain from investing in it.
  • Accelerating nature-based solutions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use, and manage terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems to improve nature and quality of life. Investments in nature-based solutions are already being catalyzed inside and outside of government, but much more can –and must—be done. Communities are clamouring for marsh restoration to protect coasts, shade trees to cool homes and reduce energy costs, green spaces to revive communities and improve health, wetlands and forests to filter water and reduce sewerage needs and pollution, and native plants to protect food supplies.

Watch the conversation:




16 February 2022

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