Earth Day, April 22, 2022, 6:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT/15:30 – 17:30 CET
Globally, governments and the financial system are increasingly recognizing the risks and opportunities that must be managed due to the interconnectedness of dynamic climate forces, biodiversity, and economies. This Earth Day high level panel brings together global leaders in natural capital science and approaches from academia, government, and finance. The panelists will discuss two main topics:
Incorporating nature’s values into investments in infrastructure, agriculture, climate adaptation, and other development needs can bring substantial benefits to both people and the planet. Recent years have seen an explosion in demand for natural capital approaches in policy and finance, but successful implementation requires leadership, compelling demonstrations, actionable data and tools, improved capacity, and ongoing collaboration.
This high level panel is intended to set the stage for natural capital conversations at Stockholm+50, aiming to spur actions that tackle inequalities and create sustainable prosperity.
Steve Polasky, University of Minnesota and the Natural Capital Project
Steve Polasky is one of the leaders of the Natural Capital Project’s environmental service mapping and valuation effort. At the University of Minnesota, Steve Polasky holds the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Ecological/Environmental Economics. His research interests include biodiversity conservation, environmental services, integrating ecological and economic analysis, renewable energy, and game theory. Steve Polasky was the senior staff economist for environment and resources for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1998-1999, and served as associate editor and co-editor for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management from 1996 to 2002. Today he’s a member of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee and the Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services for the Science Advisory Board of U.S. EPA and a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Science Council.
Emily McKenzie, Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures
Emily McKenzie (she/her) is the Technical Director at the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Emily has worked for 20 years integrating nature in policy, finance, economics and decision-making. Most recently, she led the analytical team that produced the independent, global Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity, based at HM Treasury – the UK economics and finance ministry. Emily worked for a decade in the WWF Global Science team, where she helped establish and lead the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, helping decision-makers apply InVEST – leading ecosystem service modeling software.
Gretchen Daily, Stanford University Natural Capital Project
Gretchen C. Daily (she/her) is co-founder and Faculty Director of the Stanford Natural Capital Project. Daily is the Bing Professor of Environmental Science in the Department of Biology at Stanford University, the Director of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Daily’s work is focused on understanding human dependence and impacts on nature and the deep societal transformations needed to secure people and nature.
Mary Ruckelshaus, Stanford University Natural Capital Project
Mary Ruckelshaus (she/her) oversees all work of the Natural Capital Project partnership including strategy, coordination, fundraising, communications, and hiring. She is based in Seattle, WA, where she previously led the Ecosystem Science Program at NOAA’s NW Fisheries Science Center. The main focus of her recent work is on developing ecological models including estimates of the flow of environmental services under different management regimes in marine systems worldwide.
Ouyang Zhiyun, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dr. Ouyang (he/him) is Professor and director of the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interests include ecosystem assessment, ecosystem services, ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation. In recent years, he has made his main efforts in mainstreaming ecosystem services in policy-making for ecosystem conservation, restoration and land management in China, including national ecosystem survey and assessment of China, national framework of ecological redline planning, national key ecological functional area identification, national park network planning, giant panda protection, and national ecological transfer payment. Dr. Ouyang has played a key role in conservation policy innovation in China since 2000.
Greg Watson, Inter-American Development Bank
Greg Watson is a Principal Specialist for the Natural Capital Lab Program, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Division at the Inter-American Development Bank, funded with $44M from the governments of France and the United Kingdom. The lab serves as a one-stop shop for the IDB Group and partners to drive innovation in natural capital finance. It works to incubate, accelerate, and scale new solutions to pressing environmental problems by looking at nature as asset. Greg also leads the IDB’s efforts to mainstream biodiversity across the Bank and in countries.
Qingfeng Zhang, Asian Development Bank: As the Chief of Rural Development & Food Security Thematic Group
Mr. Zhang provides leadership to the formulation and implementation of the Bank’s strategy and knowledge in agriculture, natural resources and food, oversees the operationalization of the Bank’s vision on agriculture, natural resources and food in regional and country programs. Concurrently Mr. Zhang also serves as the Chair of Environment Committee of ADB, and also office-in-charge of Environment Thematic Group. He leads the Bank’s initiatives in regional natural capital lab, ocean health action plan, air quality management, and East Asian Australasian Flyway.
Serafín Martínez Jaramillo, Banco de Mexico
Serafin leads the Environmental and Social Risks Analysis and Policy unit at Banco de México. His interests include: environmental risk analysis, financial networks and machine learning. He holds a PhD in Computational Finance from the University of Essex.
This panel is a collaboration between the Natural Capital Project, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. It is a part of the initiative "Economy and Finance for a Just Future on a Thriving Planet" convened by the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in support of Stockholm+50.
Read the recent Joint Statement on Nature, People, and Planet by nine multilateral development banks.