The programme for the third World Forum on Natural Capital, taking place in Edinburgh in a few weeks’ time, has been launched today. The speakers once again include high-level representatives from a broad spectrum of government, business and civil society and will bring together hundreds of decision-makers from across the globe.

This year marks the third time, since 2013’s inaugural World Forum, that Edinburgh will host the bi-annual event. The last one, held in 2015, welcomed 600 business leaders, government representatives and environmental experts from 45 countries.

The 40+ speakers confirmed so far for the 2017 World Forum include former Vice-minister of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Zhang XinSheng, who is now President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a member of the China Government Council for International Cooperation on Environment; Mary Kitutu, Minister of State for Environment in the Ugandan Government; Philippe Joubert, CEO of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Earth on Board programme and Chair of the Prince of Wales Corporate Leader’s Group on Climate Change; Pushpam Kumar, Chief Economist at UN Environment; Peter Bakker, President & CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Gretchen Daily, Bing Professor of Environmental Services at Stanford University; and Richard Mattison, Chief Executive of Trucost, now a part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, which was established to provide the data, tools and insights needed by companies, investors and policy makers to deliver the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy.

The 2017 World Forum will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 27-28 November and focus on mainstreaming natural capital considerations into decision-making. The theme for the event is Better Decisions for a Better World. The event is once again being organised in association with UN Environment; World Business Council for Sustainable Development; International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Natural Capital Coalition, with the addition this year of the Green Economy Coalition. The event is organised by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

A growing body of evidence, including analysis of S&P 500 companies, suggests that companies which build natural capital and sustainability into their strategies are outperforming their competitors. With growing environmental pressures and global political change, the topic has never been more important.

Jonny Hughes, Programme Director for the World Forum said: “Once again, we’re delighted to welcome a diverse range of leading international figures to address the forum. With the focus firmly on the challenges of managing the world’s natural assets sustainably in the 21st century, the dialogue between government, the private sector and civil society is vital.

“We hope to inspire dynamic and productive discussions between speakers and delegates at this year’s event, where we will be exploring how applying the principles of natural capital can improve decision-making within business, government and finance, both in terms of the benefits to the bottom line and the achievement of wider social, economic and environmental goals.”

More details on the programme for the 2017 World Forum on Natural Capital can be found at: www.naturalcapitalforum.com

Press enquiries, please contact:

Bill Shaw, PR adviser, World Forum on Natural Capital

bill@billshaw.uk.com/ +44 (0)7974 720669

For further information on the conference, please contact:

Amanda Joseph, Project Manager, World Forum on Natural Capital

ajoseph@naturalcapitalforum.com / +44 (0)131 285 4951 or +44 (0)7920 468565 +44

Notes to Editors:

  • Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.
  • The S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s 500) is an American stock market index based on the market capitalisations of 500 large companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. It is acknowledged as the most popular measure used by financial media and professionals and many commentators believe it provides the best representation of the U.S. stock market, and is often seen as a bellwether for the U.S. economy.

For UK media only

  • The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report (and Scotland-specific summary) identifies significant threats to our natural capital and the goods and services it provides, from timber, food and clean water to pollination, carbon storage and the cultural benefits of landscapes and wildlife.

For Scottish media only

  • Recent research carried out by the Central Scotland Green Network with the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital showed that over 70% of businesses in Central Scotland believe that urgent action is necessary to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural capital. The research also revealed that over 60% of businesses see natural capital as important to their organisation.