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Summit for Sustainability in Africa Adopts Gaborone Declaration

25 May 2012: The Summit for Sustainability in Africa concluded with the adoption of the Gaborone Declaration, calling for participants to implement all conventions that promote sustainable development.

Organized by Conservation International and the Government of Botswana, the Summit took place from 24-25 May 2012, in Gaborone, Botswana. It provided an opportunity to explore how African countries and other stakeholders, most notably private investors, can understand, value and manage their natural capital. Participants heard from the World Bank on their global partnership called WAVES (Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services), which addresses Gross Domestic Product's (GDP) limitation in natural capital accounting.

Participants also discussed the importance of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), noting that one of the overarching themes, green economy, presents an opportunity for Africa to take advantage of. They further called for scaling up and accelerating efforts to transition to a green economy.

The Gaborone Declaration includes a communiqué on natural capital accounting, stressing its importance for policy and decision making. It further reaffirms participants' commitment to the African Rio+20 Consensus Statement, finalized at the African preparatory meeting for the UNCSD in October 2011. [Gaborone Declaration] [Summit Website] [World Bank Press Release] [Statement by Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director] [IISD RS Story on African Consensus Statement]