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People, Planet, Prosperity: Mainstreaming Nature in Policy & Investment Decisions (Global)

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The Challenge:

Despite growing recognition that healthy, functioning ecosystems are fundamental to achieving food and water security, poverty reduction, and sustainable development, the values provided by nature are not widely integrated into policy and investment decisions. Mechanisms that facilitate this integration and mobilize resources for nature protection and restoration are a critical component of effective human development programs. 

The Solution:

The Natural Capital Project, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank are working with 16 pilot countries to co-develop natural capital approaches that directly inform policy and investment decisions for development and conservation goals. The project team is working to share lessons across these countries and beyond, with the goal of scaling up these approaches around the world. See below for the IDB and ADB member country projects, and on the Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Landscape Assessment Initiative (BELA)'s website for the related World Bank projects.

  • The project team is co-developing natural capital approaches in each pilot country – along with multilateral development bank leaders, local government partners, and local experts – in order to inform specific, priority policy or finance decisions. These will help to secure each country’s natural capital in support of their development goals. 
  • The pilot countries, supported by the project teams, are further developing technical and policy capacity across their governments and other relevant institutions for implementing natural capital approaches in future work.
  • The multilateral development banks are further developing their operational support and finance opportunities for mainstreaming natural capital approaches within countries.
  • The project team is developing a standardized framework, training curricula, and customizable tools for global application of natural capital approaches, demonstrating and sharing different pathways for policy and finance interventions.

Related Videos

People, Planet, Prosperity Pilot Projects

Ararat River Basin


Mainstreaming natural capital in river basin management



Monitoring progress toward a prosperous, sustainable future

3P Chile


Maximizing benefits of natural capital through integrating policies across sectors

Cerro de Aguilas


Creating compensation mechanisms to protect nature and support stewardship

Cook Islands

Financing nature as a solution for coastal flooding and water quality

overhead view of waterway

People’s Republic of China 

Creating a new gross ecosystem product account to support stewardship and livelihoods

boat on water


Enhancing integrated watershed management with ecosystem services assessment and valuation

Sri Lanka

Supporting food security, energy security & livelihoods through strategic watershed management 


Ecuador and Uruguay project pages coming soon.


This project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes (PROGREEN), a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund. This project grew out of an earlier Green Finance project and this Report on Natural Capital Approaches

2024 Symposium:

Join us June 4-7, 2024 at Stanford for the next NatCap Symposium, including a focus on this project and its objective of mainstreaming nature in policy and investment decisions. 

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