Valuing Natural Capital Conference

New ideas for a sustainable future

21 September 2022 - 09:00 AM (CET)

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Hours
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Hosted by tech.forum

Valuing Natural Capital Conference

New ideas for a sustainable future

21 September 2022 - 09:00 AM (CET)

Hybrid Event

Day 1 of the conference

Interactive Conference

21 September 2022.

Starting from 09:00 am CEST. Register now and join online (free) or on site (60CHF). The Physical Location is Chem. de l’Impératrice 18.

Day 2 and 3 training Workshops

Training Workshop

22 – 23 September 2022.

The conference partners will host a total of 4 trainings on natural capital and its governance mechanisms on the two days after the conference. Online and on-site!

Valuing Natural Capital Conference

New ideas for a sustainable future

Natural resources are a gamechanger in the fight against climate change. The VNC conference 2022 organized by Geneva Macro Labs together with its strategic partners ILO, UNITAR, UNCDF, key researchers from Harvard University’s Department of Economics and supported by ServiceNow. focuses on promoting innovative scalable financial solutions and governance mechanisms to value natural capitals. The one-day event features renowned keynote speakers, in-depth and interactive panel discussions. It will be followed by a two-day training session that allows a deeper dive into the topics discussed during the conference.

– Our Partners
– Supported by

What we envision & aim for?

Natural Resources like seagrass, mangroves or whales contribute significantly to eco-system stability and help reduce carbon. The conference focuses nature-based solutions for carbon sinks and on the communities living in their vicinities and develops innovative financial and governance solutions in close collaboration between the private and the public sector.

As a solution-oriented event in Geneva and online with global audience reach, VNC is a call for action to promote tangible, impactful, scalable solutions to climate change by connecting climate and finance.

– Keynote Speakers

Federico Bonaglia

Position: Deputy Director of OECD Development Centre

Topic: A new natural capital paradigm for a just transition

Mr Ralph Chami

Position: Assistant Director at The International Monetary Fund (IMF), Co-Founder Blue Green Future, Rebalance Earth

Topic: Towards an equitable and nature-positive economy

Valuing Natural Capital Issue Paper

What are natural capitals?

Whales: Individual species such as Great Whales are a significant contributor to eco-system stability and provide important ecological services. Whales produce at least three services that can be valued: ecotourism, carbon capture and fisheries enhancement. Their contribution to the ecosystem per year is equal to the GDP of the countries between Greece and Bulgaria and it evolves according to the market prices of carbon emissions. Their population has been reduced through hunting and ship strikes​

Amazonian Rainforest: Tropical forests in the Amazon used to be a significant contributor to CO2 absorption. Its size has been plagued by a conflict of use between socio–economic development and protection of the ecosystem. According to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE), 11,088 km² of rainforest have been lost between August 2019 and July 2020, an increase of 9.5% compared to the same period last year, endangering the livelihood of indigenous people, jeopardizing biodiversity, and reducing its capacity to absorb CO². In 2021, the Amazonian rainforest went from a carbon sink to a net carbon emitter, in particular through forest fires.

Seagrass: Seagrass is a plant found in shallow salt water, actively shaping undersea landscapes, and providing shelter for water animals, thereby benefiting the maritime ecology. It absorbs an estimated 83 million metric tons of carbon globally per year. Heath of seagrass suffers from overfishing and maritime transport (boat anchors). Limited attempts to restore seagrass through “underwater gardening” have been tried in the UK but remain too small to this day

Mangroves: Mangroves are a type of tropical forest known for its great resistance and ability to thrive in hot, muddy and salty environments. Mangroves capture between 50 to 220 metric tons of CO2 per acre and provide economic benefits of up to 57,000$ per hectare per year to the national economies of developing countries with mangroves. Human activity has been most damaging on mangroves, contributing to a loss of about a quarter of mangroves in the past 40 years. Several investigations into mangrove restoration projects have brought to light key problems linked to a lack of scientific research behind the restoration process

How can we preserve them?

In order to protect natural capital, we need alternative governance mechanisms. At the conference, we will discuss Natural reserves and protected areas, Environmental Taxation (ET), Payment for eco-system services (PES) and Supply-chain management for protection.

What kind of financial solutions exist?

In order to preserve natural capital, we have to come up with innovative financial solutions. At the conference, we will be discussing solutions such as Decentralised Finance (DeFi) Solutions or Social Climate Funds/Green Bonds.

What is the role of the workforce?

The mitigation of and adaptation to climate change have an impact on the workforce, both in terms of quantity (number of available jobs) and quality (the nature of the jobs available) and will require a substantial restructuring of the job market. The impact differs from sector to sector and needs to become an important part of discussing the socially and globally sustainable implementation of new climate policies.

First Day - Four Panels

21 September 2022

Download the agenda for the conference (continously updated).

01 - Hybrid

09:00 – 09:10 (CET)
Opening
Speaker: Marianne Schörling
Topic: Note on Conference Partners Reference to the issue paper

02 - Hybrid

09:10 – 09:20 (CET)
Opening Remarks
Speaker: Prof Lee White & Benedikt Grütz
Topic: Messages from the Minister of Forests, Oceans, Environment &
Climate Change, Gabon & the European Senate

03 - Hybrid

09:20 – 09:40 (CET)
Keynote 1
Speaker: Federico Bonaglia, Deputy Director of OECD Development Centre
Topic: A new natural capital paradigm for a just transition

04 - Hybrid

09:40 – 09:45 (CET)
Moderation
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: Presentation of Agenda

05

09:45 – 10:00 (CET)
Break
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: … moving to breakout rooms

Panel 1: USE CASE

10:00 - 12:00 (CET)

Panel 2: TECH AND GOVERNANCE

10:00 - 12:00 (CET)

Panel 3: INNOVATIVE FINANCE

14:40 - 16:40 (CET)

Panel 4: CREATING TRIPLE WINS

14:40 - 16:40 (CET)

Panel 1: USE CASE

10:00 - 12:00 (CET)

Topic: Economic and ecological significance of natural capital and biodiversity

Description: The panel of the first break-out session provides an overview of different use cases for natural capital.

Nathalie Hilmi

Position: Section Head of Environmental Economics at the Centre Scientifique de Monaco

Walid Al Saqqaf

Position: CEO and Co-Founder Rebalance Earth

Aiaze Mitha

Position: Digital Finance for the SDGs Lead, UNDP/UNCDF

Patricia Morales
Errázuriz

Position: CEO of Cortés Solari Philanthropy

Martin Koehring

Position: Head of the World Ocean Initiative at The Economist

Panel 2: TECH AND GOVERNANCE

10:00 - 12:00 (CET)

Topic: Governance issues for conservation of natural resources

Description: The second break-out session provides an overview of current governance mechanisms to protect and restore ecological system, their effectiveness and shortcomings and possibilities to use technological solutions to improve them. The session will also highlight factors that contribute to effective governance of natural resources.

Jessica Smith

Position: Nature Lead at UNEP Finance Initiative

Maxim Vergeichik

Position: Senior Nature Economist UNDP, Key issues in governance of natural resources

Irina Likhachova

Position: Biodiversity Finance Lead, Climate Business at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group

Edua Dickerson

Position: VP, ESG & Finance Strategy at ServiceNow

Arun Ghosh

Position: Climate Data & Technology GTM Leader at KPMG US

Thierry ARYS RUIZ

Position: CEO & Chairman at AgAu AG

01

12:00 – 12:15 (CET)
Break
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: … moving to plenary rooms

02 - Hybrid

12:00 – 12:30 (CET),
Summary
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: Key Takeaways

03

12:30 – 14:00 (CET)
Lunch Break
Speaker: n/a
Topic: Lunch/Networking + Expo Hall (online)​

04 - Hybrid

14:00 – 14:30 (CET)
Keynote 2
Speaker: Dr. Ralph Chami, IMF, Rebalance Earth, Blue Green Futures
Topic: Challenges and solutions

05

14:20 – 14:30 (CET)
Moderation
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: Presentation of Agenda

06

14:30 – 14:40 (CET)
Break
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: … moving to breakout rooms

Panel 3: INNOVATIVE FINANCE

14:40 - 16:40 (CET)

Topic: Financial Mechanisms and Issues

Description: This break-out session covers a lot of ground, including DeFisolutions to value natural capital, international agreements/ solutions to link carbon trading markets with natural capital in different jurisdictions, international insurance/re-insurance systems as alternative financial incentive instruments (e.g., risk premia to cover whale ship strikes), Greener macro policies (Sovereign Climate Fund, green bonds)

Marianne Haahr

Position: Technical Sector Guidance Lead and metrics WG, Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

Takhmina Nasimova

Position: Head of Business Development and Marketing, AgAu

Joao Braga

Position: Economist at the Brazilian Development Bank and researcher at The New School for Social Research (NSSR, NYC)

Rodolphe Bocquet

Position: VP, Partnerships and Regulation at Clarity AI

Katharine Foster

Position: Executive Director of the Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA)

Panel 4: CREATING TRIPLE WINS

14:40 - 16:40 (CET)

Topic: Good for Government, Good for People, Good for the Environment

Description: This panel is dedicated to discuss how to align ecological, economic and social objectives through valuing natural capital. Clean air – a core human need – requires novel carbon capture capabilities and advanced green technology to yield the net benefits of a more educated and healthier workforce; a workforce that can work longer and happier. The purpose of this panel will be to examine three (3) uses cases concerning Rwanda, Brazil, and India’s state of play relative to ecological imperatives facing their countries’ populations and labor force.

Adam Wood

Position: Department of Economics, Harvard University

Gaya Herrington

Position: Vice President ESG Research, Schneider Electric

Nidhi Batra_pic

Nidhi Batra

Position: Development Practitioner at World Bank, Sehreeti Developmental Practices, JustJobs Network

Mr Ralph Chami

Position: Assistant Director at The International Monetary Fund (IMF), Co-Founder Blue Green Future, Rebalance Earth

Rachel Kropa

Position: Managing Director, Nonprofit + Science at FootPrint Coalition

Thierry Watrin

Position: Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda

Massamba Thioye

Position: Project Executive UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub at UN Climate Change Secretariat

01

16:40 – 16:50 (CET)
Break
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: … moving to plenary rooms

02 - Hybrid

16:40 – 16:50 (CET)
Summary
Speaker: Gemlabs/Harvard
Topic: Key Takeaways

03

17:20 – 17:30 (CET)
Closing Remarks
Speaker: Gemlabs
Topic: Thank you Reference to training Outlook

Four Training Workshops & a Networking-Coffee on the second & third day!"

on the 22nd and 23rd of September

Training Session Trainers

Ralph Chami

Training 1

Company: (IMF, Rebalance Earth, Blue Green Futures)

Dieter Brockmeyer

Training 2

Company: (Diplomatic World Institute)

Jörn Erbguth

Training 2

Company: (Gemlabs)

Massamba Thioye

Training 3

Company: (UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub)

Adam Wood

Training 4

Company: (Harvard University)

Valuing Natural Capital Training Workshops

Understanding the limits of our ecosystems is critical for us to ensure their long-term supply. Governance solutions are therefore to be built on a number of inter-connected factors which help to bring science and technology together, while respecting human rights.

Take a deeper dive into different governance mechanisms for ecosystem protection. Discuss their effectiveness and shortcomings in terms of protecting the natural asset in question, whether a keystone species or an entire ecosystem. This training will highlight governance mechanisms which can address the lack of international collaboration and cooperation as a key impediment to effective climate change policies.

Tokenization and Blockchain can be underpinning technology capabilities to completely rewire global finance and use cases around natural capital valuations. Blockchain has been praised as the new miracle technology, has been criticized as a tool for money laundering and darknet trade and has a huge climate impact. How can it serve as a sustainable tool for valuing natural capital? To understand the real strengths of this technology and how to avoid its pitfalls, this training starts by introducing Blockchain and Tokenization. It explains the different types of tokens from cryptocurrencies, asset-based tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to soul-bound tokens (SBTs). The training discusses different use-cases of this distributed ledger technology for nature preservation projects. It explains, how transparency can be achieved, that – for example – prevents double-counting of carbon sequestration. The training will provide a solid understanding of how these technologies can be efficient, transparent and sustainable financial tools for valuing natural capital.

Where do we stand in regards to green bond frameworks and what can be learnt from a UNFCCC perspective? How to best bridge between supply and demand for climate solutions?

This training will discuss in detail the development of a financial instrument that enable to meet these conditions, a Mitigation Outcome Security which is to the green bond what the Renewable Electricity Certificate is to the green electricity. The new financial instrument will lead to an integration of the green bond and the carbon market, with financiers playing a greater role on the later, through the trading of the Mitigation Outcome Securities. The framework proposed is transformative. It will make the carbon market become the drivers of the shift of low-cost finance toward green activities, one of the most important game changers to achieve the climate goals. In return, the involvement of financiers in the carbon market will enhance its liquidity, promote price discovery and efficiency. Digital technologies, more specifically, Distributed Ledger Technologies are being used for the pilot testing of this new financial instrument.

Solving multivariate problem sets is never a simple task; however, we will demonstrate how accounting for these adverse environmental factors powered by new technology capabilities and international/private finance will spur economic growth and prosperity for the labor forces of Rwanda, Brazil, and India. Meet Adam Wood, Research Collaborator and Consultant at Harvard University’s Department of Economics. He will take the lead on this training offered as a research seminar. Discussions will be based on conference panel 4 which looks into how we can best incorporate benefits for the climate and the workforce without upending local and regional economies with limited factor endowments.

Learning objectives are threefold: How to (1) Set the foundation for scalable and fiscally responsible solutions for all member states to create triple wins, (2) Provide enduring contributions to the economic multiplier machine of personal consumption, investment, and savings all of which contribute to the SPI/HDI’s of a Nation State, and (3) Generate sustainable tax revenues from the population so that they may work longer and happier, so that the aforementioned capital yields are reinvested into the economy of a government.

The conference partners will host a total of 4 trainings on natural capital and its governance mechanisms on the two days after the conference. Participation in the training includes an on-site networking coffee. The training offers on-site and online opportunities. The preliminary agenda of the trainings looks as follows:

Day 02

14:00-17:00 CET

22 September 2022

Day 03

13:30 – 20:30 CET

23 September 2022

Training Workshop Organizers

You can join up to three trainings

Natural Capital and its governance mechanisms

14:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Lead by Dr Ralph Chami (IMF, Blue Green Future, Rebalance Earth)

Tokenization – what it is and how it can be used to value natural capital

14:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Lead by Dieter Brockmeyer (Diplomatic World Institute) and Dr Jörn Erbguth (Gemlabs)

Innovative finance for transformative climate solutions

13:30 - 16:30 (CET)

Lead by Massamba Thioye (UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub)

Creating Triple Wins to value natural capital (offered as a seminar)

17:30 - 20:30 (CET)

Lead by Adam Wood (Harvard University’s Department of Economics)

Conference Organising Team

Marianne Schörling

Team-Lead

Position: Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Geneva Macro Labs

Leonie Achtnich

Position: Head Of Communications at Geneva Macro Labs

Jörn Erbguth

Position: Head of Technology Insights at Geneva Macro Labs

Ekkehard Ernst

Team-Lead

Position: President at the Geneva Macro Labs, Chief Macroeconomist at the International Labour Organization

a special thanks to the volunteers

Dougal Rees

Klara Woxström

Zoé Becquet

Tanushree Majumdar

Thinh Nguyen

Anam Hijab

Sophia Ernst

Mimi Yates

Michele Fiorini

Deniz Erkus

Luis Meunier

Gabor Farkas

Nataliya Domnina

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