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  • Writer's pictureFiona Smith

IDEEA Group on the creation of a Natural Capital Roadmap

In 2023, our colleagues in IDEEA Group in Australia launched a natural capital roadmap to help organisations to create a natural capital plan. Read more about the process...

Sunset over a landscape with exposed earth and some sparse bushes

IDEEA Group created a natural capital roadmap process to suit the needs of both individual organisations and those that want to work together as a collective. Australia has a strong infrastructure of regional natural resource management (NRM) organisations that cover the entire country. Each NRM region has a unique Regional NRM Plan that prioritises local issues and actions, and the process is easy to follow so that organisations can produce a customised natural capital plan for the next 3 to 5 years.

Natural resource management enables the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources, such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, crucial in ensuring the long-term health and viability of ecosystems while balancing the needs of human populations.

Some key aspects of natural resource management:

• regional planning

• sustainable agricultural practices

• habitat restoration

• stakeholder engagement

• monitoring.

A key challenge for natural resource managers is systematically describing and reporting the contributions they are making to the sustainable management of natural resources. Adopting a natural capital approach, underpinned by natural capital accounting, can help. It helps to explain – through data and data visualisation – what has been achieved through restoration, regeneration and sustainable land management.

The challenge to using a natural capital approach is getting started. The market is flooded with frameworks, methods, applications, initiatives and tools. Which to choose? And how do you know if they’ll work for your unique set of circumstances? A natural capital roadmap can help navigate the options and make informed decisions about how to implement a natural capital approach.

IDEEA Group's Roadmap aims to:

• clarify and socialise natural capital concepts within an organisation

• determine priority information needs and applications

• evaluate the measurement methods that best meet their needs

• identify data requirements and data gaps

• structure investments in natural capital capacity building

• ensure alignment with natural capital initiatives nationally and around the world.

Implementing natural capital accounting requires the combination of various methods and data sources. The roadmap process does not advocate for one particular accounting method or data source. Instead, it is designed to help each organisation (or groups of organisations) establish their readiness for natural capital accounting and describe the options available to them for moving forward. The roadmap process also helps to explain what natural capital accounting is to a range of stakeholders and to assess where an organisation is on their natural capital journey.

It would be desirable to see resources and infrastructure put in place for the provision of a similar roadmap for Irish organisations and habitats.

You can access the full document and read more on the IDEEA Group site.

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