Natural Capital and Resilience

Building on its study of the resilience of food systems, the I.S.U. brought together national governments and international organisations to promote greater understanding of the economic linkages between food, energy and water security as well as efficient production planning. This contributed to the growing awareness of the interconnected nature of risk, particularly in the context of environmental change, and led to a number of countries embarking on integrated economic reviews of their food, energy and water sectors. The ISU continues to promote this agenda with international bodies and governments.

Work on food, energy and water security has focused attention on the potential for resource scarcity and the depletion of natural capital, exacerbated by climate change, to act as ‘conflict multipliers’. The ISU will continue to convene internationally to identify steps to reduce the likelihood of such stress multipliers acting as additional triggers for conflict. Steps could include a greater focus on pre-emptive action, and more effective co-ordination of effort at national and international levels.

The ISU’s Forests programme continues to support efforts to reduce tropical deforestation and promote tropical forest landscape restoration by convening high-level meetings with representatives of the private sector, governments, academia and NGOs to identify each sector’s role in advancing potential solutions. Primary objectives for 2017 include continuing our work with IDH, WCF and other partners to develop a joint framework for action on the Cocoa and Forests Initiative which initially focuses on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana; working with the private sector, NGOs and producing governments to assist efforts in meeting commodity-wide zero deforestation commitments at the same time as scaling up ambition in terms of both the range of commodities and key biomes included in the zero deforestation agenda; and supporting the scientific community to map out options for the land use sector, taking into account biodiversity, to meet the climate change mitigation targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
“Tropical Forests: A Review”

In 2015, The ISU commissioned a wide-ranging review of the state of the world’s tropical forests and efforts to protect them, published in April 2015, and available at the link below.  The report carries a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and draws on wide engagement with governments, NGOs, academics and the private sector.  Its key findings encompass the latest science on climate change mitigation, forest degradation, biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate regulation.  The report also contains a series of policy recommendations on REDD+, landscape restoration, commodity supply chains and sustainable forest management.

The report is available to download here.

In response to the pressing need for responsible land investment in developing countries, the ISU developed a common position across a wide range of stakeholders, resulting in a statement that was endorsed at a high level meeting of 60 representatives of investors, civil society, multilateral agencies and governments, hosted by HRH in May 2013. This work led to cooperative initiatives between other stakeholders, and substantially contributed to the UK Government’s G8 work on transparency in land deals.

The ISU has advised the government of Kenya on a plan for the restoration and sustainable economic development of the Lake Naivasha catchment. The integrated, landscape level approach, based on a public private partnership, with strong stakeholder engagement may serve as a template for other sub-national development plans in Kenya and beyond.

The ISU will continue to work with influential clinicians, intergovernmental health organisations, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals in support of their efforts to raise awareness about the health impacts of climate change, to add their voices to Climate negotiations leading up to the UNFCCC Paris COP in 2015.