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WCC 2016 Res 058 - Activity Report

General Information
IUCN Constituent: 
Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand
IUCN Constituent type: 
IUCN Member
Period covered: 
Geographic scope: 
New Zealand
In implementing this Resolution your organization has worked/consulted with...
IUCN Members: 
Department of Conservation / New Zealand
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
New Zealand Treasury, Local government in New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment
Indicate and briefly describe any actions that have been carried out to implement this Resolution: 
Convene stakeholders/NetworkingECO is a networking organisation and convenes various discussions as well as attending other networking events and electronic discussions. - None -
Policy influencing/advocacyECO has over many years pressed the case that NZ's public policy and national and institutional accounting shift focus to monitor and report on all the four capitals. In relation to natural capital we've urged recognition that natural capital is the biophysical systems that are habitat, provide biophysical functions, services and various flows and stocks. We have made a point of pressing this in a variety of policy and technical situations and have made considerable progress, at least on natural capital and the need to allow it to recover and be restored. We've also done this within policy, academic, public discourse, academic and professional contexts. On-going
Scientific/technical activitiesECO has made submissions, conference presentations, and policy discussions to shift NZ's public policy and accounting fit our impacts on the planet within the biophysical capacity and have pressed this case within academic, policy and public discourse. This has been largely independent of IUCN's work referred to in this motion. We participated in technical meetings and seminars with the NZ Treasury and Ministry for the Environment's, and we have supported and critiqued the "four capitals" approach (Social, cultural natural and economic) in New Zealand policy and financial frameworks. We've urged recognition that there are ethical limits that that natural capital system function is crucial and is not tradable. Processes to foster and restore biophysical systems, biodiversity (in range, abundance, function, and condition) are necessary. We have stressed this in relation to the reinstatement of consideration of social, cultural, natural well being in the Local Government Act, and its adoption by the NZ Treasury for our 2019 national Budget. We have supported the introduction of natural capital into the frameworks for New Zealand national environmental and other reporting. On the policy front we have included in our submissions and discussions with officials, politicians and the community the need for "donut economics" or similar.On-going
Please report on the result /achievement of the actions taken: 
New Zealand has adopted a well being of "four capitals" approach, for statistics and reporting and for our national Budget by The NZ Treasury. ECO continues to advocate for a clearer understanding that natural capital is about maintaining and restoring biophysical processes and systems, it is not primarily about stocks and flows of stuff that people can use up.
What challenges have you encountered in implementing this Resolution and what measures have you taken to overcome them?: 
We first suggested and were ridiculed for it that accounting for natural capital be included for the New Zealand Public Finance Act 1989. We are gratified now to see the idea not only adopted but implemented here. Thanks to the wider development of ideas and literature, official, public and policy community understanding have let these ideas become accepted.
Identify and briefly describe what future actions are planned for the implementation of this Resolution: 
Future ActionDescription
Education/Communication/Raising awarenessWe will continue to foster these ideas in the community at large and support the consideration of the other three capitals.
Policy influencing/advocacyECO will support any government in NZ tha adopts this understanding of the concept of natural capital and will try to educate those in politics and the community who think natural capital is a perverse concept, or that it implies stocks and flows not systems. Our objective is to ensure that the idea is embedded in greater understanding of truly sustainable human systems and other activities and that we must live within biophysical limits.