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JAN. 17, 2023

President Gabriel Boric launches Natural Capital Committee to promote the sustainable development of Chile

The committee’s mission will be to advise and propose actions to the President in matters related to measuring, valuing, protecting, restoring and improving Chile’s natural capital. 

President Gabriel Boric has led the launch of Chile’s Natural Capital Committee. It is an extremely important governance platform, as it will generate environmental information and knowledge that will be key to making financial, public budget and productive decisions in the country. This is in line with the government’s goal of promoting and providing new tools for caring for the environment. 

Environment Minister Maisa Rojas and Treasury Minister Mario Marcel also attended the launch, together with the president of the Banco Central, Rosanna Costa, and the renowned University of Cambridge professor, Sir Partha Dasgupta. 

The Environment Ministry, the Treasury Ministry and the Economy Ministry agreed to form the Natural Capital Committee in 2022. Among other things, the committee will design the future implementation of a national environmental accounts system, based on ecosystem assets and aligned with criteria published by the UN. 

The committee will be chaired by a representative from the Environment Ministry, who will be joined by a representative from the Treasury Ministry and a representative from the Economy, Development and Tourism Ministry. Representatives from the Banco Central and the National Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Development Council will also participate as technical advisors. 

The committee will be the first of its kind in Latin America. Its mission will be to advise and propose actions to the President in matters relating to measuring, valuing, protecting, restoring and improving Chile’s natural capital. This will integrate nature and biodiversity into the process of designing and implementing sustainable development in the country.   

Functions and capacities of the committee 
  • To advise the President and provide recommendations regarding policies, plans and programs related to the conservation management of Chile’s natural capital, taking into account international standard and guidelines. 
  • To propose measures to identify and measure Chile’s natural capital according to the criteria and methodologies of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting: Central Framework (SEEA-CF) and Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA), prepared by the United Nations Statistical Commission, as well as to evaluate and propose an institutional framework for this purpose. 
  • To recommend guidelines to prioritize the recognition, protection, restoration and improvement of natural capital, so that public and private activities focus on actions that produce a greater impact on the recovery, maintenance and improvement of the contributions that biodiversity provides, and thus protect the current and future well-being of society. 
  • To identify the state of natural capital, including those natural assets that are being used in an unsustainable manner, and propose measures deemed necessary to recognize, restore, protect and improve them. 
  • To propose and develop metrics, tools and methodologies to record and/or evaluate effective progress in protecting, restoring and improving natural capital and its articulation with public policies and other instruments for implementing these tasks effectively throughout Chile.  
  • To prepare reports on priority topics to serve as inputs for decision-making that would lead to the protection, restoration and improvement of natural capital. 
  • To provide advice and specific recommendations to committee member ministries and others with competencies in matters related to the conservation management of natural capital, when it is requested via the Technical Secretary’s Office and approved by the committee. 
  • To propose research agendas based on the priorities of the competent authority to improve future consultation and other mechanisms for generating knowledge, which would contribute to relevant decision-making and the conservation management of Chile’s natural capital. 
  • To promote cooperation and knowledge exchange with the private sector, academia, science and civil society on public policies aimed at maintaining, restoring and protecting nature and biodiversity for the benefit of society.