This week in Natural Capital


 Week 21 – 25 July 2014, by Anna Heuberger,

Feeding a growing population: The necessity of a global landscape restoration revolution

Devex, July 22, 2014

According to the world food program (WFP) 842 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. This results mainly from mismanagement and the wasteful consumption of the world’s food resources and the inability to unlock agricultural potential in many parts of the world. The article “It’s time for a global landscape restoration revolution” by Monique Barbut and Andrew Steer, published on the 22nd of July, estimates that we will need 70% more food in 2050 than we did in 2006 to feed our growing population. These facts show that the current global agriculture and food system has to change. According to the article the barriers to change are not  due to knowledge or technology gaps, nor a lack of global production capability but rather due to a  lack of political momentum to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Pushing forward to restore degraded lands would not only ensure the livelihoods of millions of small farmers, it would make an important contribution to climate change mitigation, the reduction of desertification and deforestation. “Restoring 150 million hectares would yield $84 billion in annualized net present value and would sequester approximately 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide equivalent annually” the authors say.

The threat of growing global food scarcity is not only a concern to people in affected areas, it is a global concern. In 2012 alone donors spent 1 billion US $ to reduce the humanitarian crisis caused by the draught in the Sahel region. Furthermore growing water and food scarcity would lead to a growing number of displaced people, migrants and refugees.

Read the article to find out how the productivity and function of degraded land can be restored.

Other headlines 


Making use of natural and human capital

Tribune, July 25, 2014

Speakers at a Conference by the  Sustainable Development Policy Institute said “human health was directly impacted by climate change, which also indirectly effects food quality, ecology and industry.” More…

The value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Interest NZ, July 25, 2014

“Facing the right costs right would help companies and households better understand the full value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions” More…


Bangladesh to conserve water potential for biodiversity

Dhaka Tribune, July 21, 2014

“As per our commitment to international agreements, we need to declare 10% of our sea exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as Coastal and Marine Protected Areas (CMPAs) by the year 2020”. More

The World’s first nation-wide Marine Sanctuary

Palau is “designating its entire ocean territory as a regenerative zone for sharks, whales, tuna, and countless other precious species.” More…

New hope for the Arctic Ocean:

Deutsche Welle, July 18, 2014

“A new report calls for protection measures in the Antarctic Weddell Sea, one of the world’s last, intact ecosystems. Cooperation between Germany and Russia could help achieve a better situation.” More…

Deep sea mining licenses issued

BBC News, July 23, 2014

“Deep sea mining is a new frontier in the quest for the precious raw materials needed for modern economies but environmental groups have long warned of the potential damage to marine ecosystems.” More


Does forestry in British Columbia make money?

UBC Vancouver, July 11, 2014

“If you value the forests of British Columbia as ecosystems that ought to be left as a legacy to our grandchildren, you might again take a different perspective. Do you include in your balance sheet the costs of fire-fighting and the government departments that manage the industry? What external costs are left out of a broad overview of forestry in BC?” More…


Overview on mangroves in Guinea Bissau:

Global Partnership for Oceans

“Coastal habitats are crucial contributors to livelihoods, food security and the national economy. In Guinea Bissau, mangroves cover more than 338,000 hectares or close to a third of the coastline and 9.4 percent of the national territory. In fact, Guinea Bissau’s mangroves account for a greater proportion of national territory than any other country in the world.” More…



This weekly blog has the purpose to summarize and collect important stories and news on Natural Capital.

By Anna Heuberger, TEEB Communications and Outreach


Photo credits: Photo: Sam Strauss

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