On October 22, Natural Capital Project leaders Gretchen Daily, Mary Ruckelshaus, and Lisa Mandle headed to Washington, D.C. to spread the word about NatCap’s newest book, Green Growth That Works, and share examples from the book of practical policy and finance tools for conserving natural capital. At a briefing for Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, the group discussed examples of successful programs within the United States, as well as new opportunities to invest in the nation’s natural capital to protect coastlines, secure clean water, and benefit urban populations. Participants were especially interested in nature-based solutions in cities, as well as the equity and inclusivity dimensions of green growth.
The event on Capitol Hill was followed by a public panel at the National Press Club hosted by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, where Daily, Ruckelshaus, and Mandle were joined by fellow co-author and Director of the Environmentally Sustainable Development Group at the United Nations Development Programme Alvaro Umaña Quesada. The authors shared the book’s origin story, traced the history of natural capital policy and finance mechanisms, and highlighted new frontiers for valuing nature in decision making.
In an interactive dialog with audience members, the group discussed opportunities to mainstream natural capital-based approaches within development banks and government agencies, as well as the suite of new metrics to track ecosystem services being developed by China, the World Bank, and other institutions to complement traditional measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP).