Water and wetlands training demonstrates some of the challenges facing Africa in managing development and environment trade-offs and the vital role of ecosystem valuation for decision-making. These topics have been discussed during o three (3) days workshop held in Nairobi from July, 7th to 9th, 2014.
Provide a needed platform for their partners in Kenya to reflect on how they could apply The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) approaches and more importantly the need to report back and identify key allies in order to ensure a shift in how wetlands are currently valued, was the aim of the training workshop organized by the Ecosystem Alliance, an international program of Wetlands International, IUCN Netherlands and Both Ends.
Without understanding and acknowledging the value of natural resources, economic development models are fraud and suitable at best to the short term. Without a greener way of doing business, taking into account impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystems, corporate and governmental strategies are not fully future proof. A greener way of doing economics, development and business is possible and TEEB may help to accomplish this.
This TEEB for Water and Wetlands professional training workshop on “Mainstreaming the values of water and wetlands into decision-making” was organized by Wetlands International and IUCN NL in close cooperation with Free University of Amsterdam, University of Nairobi, and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The funding for the workshop was provided thanks to the generous support of the Ecosystem Alliance Kenya and brought together 25 participants to share knowledge and receive guidance on different valuation techniques and strategies in order to convince decision-makers of the value of wetlands. The training was held from 7-9 July 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya, and was designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the concepts and methodologies behind recognizing, demonstrating and assessing the importance and value of water and wetlands, using qualitative, quantitative and when appropriate monetary indicators.
“The TEEB training was an eye-opener and a mindset-shifter by making the invisible ecosystems services provided by water and wetlands resources more visible in economics and accounting terms” Ben Opaa from National Environment Management Authority, Kenya said.
The training workshop drew from the main findings and recommendations of the TEEB for Water and Wetlands Report published in February 2013, and was structured under three main modules tailored to meet the specific learning objectives, namely:
- Module 1 on TEEB and its role in water and wetlands
- Module 2 on improving measurement and assessment of ecosystems for better governance and wise use
- Module 3 on integrating the value of water and wetlands into decision-making which presented the most important policy tools toward the wise use of wetlands
At the end, participants expressed that the training has increased understanding and appreciation on TEEB as a tool for decision making and consensus building on water and wetlands management among other results.
This workshop is the third training organized to disseminate the key recommendations from the TEEB for Water and Wetlands report after a similar training organized for Asia in August 2013, in Bali, Indonesia and in Kampala, Uganda in November 2013.