Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice 

The Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice (NCA-CoP) is a regional learning and knowledge exchange platform dedicated to fostering the compilation of environmental-economic and ecosystems accounts in support to the design, implementation and evaluation of environmentally-friendly policies for a sustainable development in Africa.

Nigeria Takes Step to Mainstream Natural Capital in System of National Accounting

Nigeria, a West African Country, is blessed with enormous natural capital, including forests covering about 3,316,821 hectares of land; fisheries, rivers wildlife and water. While the true value and contributions of natural capital is not known, brazen depletions continue to occur without reflection in Nigeria’s system of national accounts. Other African countries with similar experience, including, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda have taken steps to protect their ecological services by mainstreaming natural capital accounting in their System of Natural Accounting (SNA) but this is not the case with Nigeria. 

In 2015, Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) developed a pilot energy framework and mineral resources account, it has not been published. With support from UNIDO and funded by the GEF Nigeria conducted economic valuation studies to value marine sectors and marine ecosystem services under the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) in 2009 and in 2020, the GPS/WAVES program of the World Bank funded the Cost of Coastal and Environmental Degradation (COED) study for three states (Delta, Cross River and Lagos) of eight coastal states. Nigeria is actively involved in the NCA community of practice and fully participated in the 2018 international NCA forum and policy dialogues during the Natural Capital Week in Paris and the 2019 Africa Forum on Natural Capital Workshop.  

To facilitate the incorporation and mainstreaming of natural capital and ecosystem services accounts into the Nigeria’s SNA, a two-day training workshop was organized for technical staff of relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from December 2-3, 2020 at Top Rank Hotel, Area 11, Garki Abuja. The training workshop attracted over 60 participants from the Federal Ministries of Environment; Finance, Planning and Budget; Mines and Steel Development; Water Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development, National Bureau of Statistics, and Nigeria REDD+ Secretariat, among others. Speakers and Resource persons were drawn from the Australian National University, University of Nigeria Nsukka, the World Bank, British High Commission, Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, GLOBE Nigeria, and Natural Eco Capital.

The outcome of the training was a call for Nigeria to give priority to the treatment of its Natural Capital as a valuable resource for sustainable development, develop a road map followed by a National Action Plan on Natural Capital Accounting, give legislative backing to Natural Capital Accounting process, and join the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA), and other global initiatives that are supporting the valuation and incorporation of Natural capital into public and private sector policies and decision making. It is expected that the country would, in the coming months, develop a road map followed by a National Action Plan on Natural Capital Accounting and give legislative backing to Natural Capital Accounting process.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor had assured of the willingness of her Ministry to pursue a policy that should “direct the adoption of a governance approach that accounts for the impact of economic development on natural resources and environmental sustainability”. Ikeazor saw no reason why Nigeria’s natural capital would neither be captured in the financial calculation of Nigeria’s wealth nor explicitly considered as assets in national planning. The World Bank equally indicated its willingness to ensure that Nigeria’s natural capital are properly accounted for.  Sofia Elizbeth said that she was looking forward to receiving Nigeria into the league of African countries that had adopted the accounting procedure. “The United Kingdom would be pleased to share its experience of natural capital accounts, and help develop innovative approaches and consistent data methodologies with Nigeria”, Sean Melbourne, the Head, Climate Change & Energy, West Africa, British High Commission, Abuja said.  With the interest shown by the Nigerian government and international organisations on the issue, the Director of REPRC-EfD Nigeria, Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, said that his Centre was going to follow-up on the recommendations of the delegates to ensure that Nigeria’s System of National Accounting considers her natural capital.

 
Objective of the Africa NCA CoP

The Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice aims to build momentum and mainstream NCA into statistical production and policy in all African countries by supporting best practices through capacity building and knowledge sharing. To that end, and over the next few years, the community of practice intends to hold regular forums at regional and international fora; share information through a newsletter; produce joint communications including case studies; share experiences through south-south exchanges and joint training activities; and build technical expertise through themed working groups, among other activities. An interim volunteer working group has been convened to coordinate the development of a work plan to guide the implementation of these activities. It will also coordinate the appointment of focal points in countries across Africa who will be responsible for connecting their colleagues in government to the activities of the community of practice. 

 
Membership and Partnership

Individual Membership  

The community of practice is open to all individuals interested in natural capital accounting in Africa, though its activities are geared primarily to supporting individuals working on accounts within governments. Individuals can sign up to join the Community of Practice to participate in the dialogue. 

Institutional Membership   

The Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice welcomes new partnerships that align with ongoing initiatives both in Africa and at the global level. Institutions interested in sharing information, sponsoring activities, or collaborating with us, can get in touch using this contact form . 

Government membership

The community of practice is open for all governments in Africa. For information, please contact the NCA-CoP coordinator, Peter Katanisa, Pkatanisa@worldbank.org.

 
Activities

The Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice will build momentum and mainstream natural capital accounting in statistical production and policy across Africa through capacity building and knowledge sharing between government institutions, nongovernmental organizations and academia. This is an essential next step in unifying stakeholders around a shared ambition and in driving tangible commitments and actions to accelerate the uptake of the natural capital approach.

The community of practice intends to hold regular meetings at regional and international fora; promote best practice; produce joint communications including case studies; share experiences through south-south exchanges and joint trainings; and build technical expertise through themed working groups, among other activities like a moderated WhatsApp group and monthly webinar series. Anyone with an interest in natural capital accounting in Africa is welcome to sign up to the community of practice. In June 2020, over 300 people from 39 different African countries had already signed up. The Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice also welcomes new partnerships that align with ongoing initiatives both in Africa and at the global level.

 
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