The Conference

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Valuing Nature: the economy and the environment

Embassy Theatre, Courtenay Place, Wellington, 9 and 10 July 2013

A conference organised jointly by the New Zealand Government Natural Resources Sector* and Victoria University of Wellington, in association with the Sustainable Business Council.

Human well-being – economic, social, and cultural – all rely critically on ecosystem services provided by nature.  Examples include water and air quality regulation, nutrient cycling, plant pollination, flood and erosion control and food, fuel and fibre. Biodiversity underpins all of these services, but the invisibility of biodiversity’s value has often led to inefficient use and sometimes destruction of the ‘natural capital’ that supports our economies. New understandings of society’s dependence on nature and its fundamental role in New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural well-being can allow us to work together to address these issues.

This conference explores the new vision for biodiversity that is emerging globally, one that calls for wider recognition of nature’s contribution to our livelihoods, health, security and prosperity. This vision reflects the value of natural capital and ecosystem services in the mainstream of both public and private decision-making.

* The New Zealand Government Natural Resources Sector comprises the Department of Conservation, Department of Internal Affairs, Land Information NZ, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, and Te Puni Kokiri.