Wildebeest and zebra running in the lake below Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli, Kenya in summer. Photo: Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography / Getty Images.

Today, SEI and Kenya’s National Treasury are co-hosting a meeting with Ministers from Kenya, Rwanda, and the UK, alongside experts from across Africa, to discuss the independent, global Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity.

The meeting will gather perspectives from stakeholders across the continent that will help to inform the Dasgupta Review’s final report, due in autumn this year.

The Dasgupta Review is an independent global review on the economics of biodiversity commissioned by HM Treasury – the UK’s economic and finance ministry. It explores the sustainability of our engagements with nature: what we take from it; how we transform what we take from it and return to it; and why we have disrupted nature’s processes.

The Review is led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge).

“The Review is global in scope and this meeting is vitally important to ensure that the depth and breadth of expertise and experience across Africa is reflected in our work,” Dasgupta said. “Biodiversity loss poses serious risks to our economies, so I am delighted that representatives from several African Ministries join us today.”

The Review’s Interim Report was published in April 2020. It set out the Review’s central economic and scientific concepts. The final report will also set out what we must urgently do differently to address biodiversity loss and enhance our collective wealth and well-being, and that of our descendants.

“Biodiversity and natural capital underpin the major sectors of the economies of many African countries, including agriculture, health and tourism. Biodiversity loss therefore has a significant impact on national economies, and affects millions of people in both urban and rural areas in Africa that depend on biodiversity for food security and livelihoods,” said Philip Osano, Acting Director of SEI’s Africa Centre. “The Dasgupta Review is therefore critical to inform policies and actions that are required in the economic and financial sectors in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta is supported by an Advisory Panel drawn from experts in public policy, science, economics, finance and business.

Quotes from Ministers and experts on today’s meeting

The Dasgupta Review on the economics of biodiversity views the global economy as embedded within Nature and recognizes the limits Nature places on the economy. This has far reaching implications for economic and financial policy making at national and global levels. This also has fundamental implications for corporate, collective and individual behavior at  the level of firms, communities and citizens. The Report could not have come at a better time. As the world seeks to ‘build back better’, pairing post-COVID-19 recovery and resilience strategies with ambitious climate and biodiversity actions, the report offers fresh, innovative and bold ideas for urgent action.”

– Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng, member of the Dasgupta Review’s Advisory Panel and Director, African Natural Resources Centre, African Development Bank.

“Kenya and its National Treasury are uniquely placed to aid the Dasgupta Review in its efforts, as we recognize that biodiversity is central to Kenya’s economic development. Over the last decade, the National Treasury and Planning, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, have increased budgetary allocation significantly to support biodiversity conservation hotspots, such as: restoration of water towers; aquatic ecosystems through enhanced budgetary support to the blue economy; support to the Greening Kenya Campaign through the economic stimulus package under the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan; development of economic incentives for nature conservation; and the undertaking of natural accounting for the valuation of ecosystem services such as afforestation, water harvesting, and conservation measures ,among others.”

The Hon. Amb. Ukur Yatani, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning

“African nations are responsible for just 2-3% of global emissions, but the continent is set to be the worst affected by the devastating impacts of climate change. This year, the UK commissioned Dasgupta Review on the economics of biodiversity will set out the urgent changes that countries need to make to both enhance biodiversity and deliver sustainable economic prosperity. Coronavirus has provided a stark reminder of what happens when humanity’s relationship with nature breaks down. As CoP26 President, the UK will partner with African nations to build back better. We have an opportunity to protect and restore nature, reducing our exposure to deadly viruses and climate impacts.”

Susie Kitchens, UK Representative to the UN Environment Programme

For interviews, please contact

Philip Osano, Acting Centre Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
philip.osano@sei.org
+254 (0) 711 034507

Brenda Ochola, Communications Officer, Stockholm Environment Institute
brenda.ochola@sei.org
+46 73 707 8613

Notes to editors

Background

  • The Review’s final report will be published in autumn 2020, and ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in May 2021 (due to take place in Kunming, China).
  • More information about the Dasgupta Review is available here.
  • A full program of the event is available here.

Organizers

The event is co-hosted by SEI and Kenya’s National Treasury, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dasgupta Review Team, based in HM Treasury.

Information about the event

The event is on Wednesday, 22 July 2020 from 11:00 – 13:30 GMT [Nairobi 14:00-16:30 | London 12:00-14:30] and attendance is by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please contact Cassilde Muhoza by 7:00 GMT [Nairobi 10:00] at cassilde.muhoza@sei.org. Participants include representatives from the African Governments (including both Finance and Economic Planning and Environment and Biodiversity related sectors), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, the diplomatic community, research and academia, private sector and industry, development agencies, and civil society groups.

For further information, please contact

Kenya’s National Treasury
Mr. Peter Odhengo
Head, Climate Finance and Green Economy Unit
odhengo@gmail.com

UK HM Treasury
Mr. Ant Parham
Economics of Biodiversity Review
Ant.Parham@hmtreasury.gov.uk

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Dr. Philip Osano
Acting Center Director, SEI Africa
philip.osano@sei.org

African Development Bank (AfDB)
Dr. Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng
Director, African Natural Resources Centre (ANRC)
C.OCHIENG@AFDB.ORG