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Natural Assets Development Team develops vision and strategic activities

The Natural Assets Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) held the first meeting of its international Development Team, which took place in Montreal, Canada, from 18 to 20 April 2018. 13 members of the Development Team and the Future Earth Secretariat coming from 7 different countries with various academic and non-academic backgrounds attended the two and a half day meeting, located in the buildings of the McGill University, to discuss the goals and the future activities of the Natural Assets KAN.

During the meeting, the Development Team, which is co-chaired by Maria Martinez-Harms and Unai Pascual, developed a vision in which the Natural Assets KAN community will develop and deliver both synthesized and specific knowledge about the role of natural assets to guarantee the well-being of our earth. This provision of information and knowledge will support societies in meeting global sustainability goals such as the Aichi targets and the SDGs, and provide information to relevant decision-makers at the national and local levels so as to achieve these goals.

In order to realize this vision, the Natural Assets KAN formulated a strategy which aims at engaging an international group of researchers and stakeholders in three core activities: 

  1. A global – to local – to global analysis of so called “off-stage” (diffused and delayed) impacts of policies on natural assets on human development and associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  2. The leadership of a global synthesis on understanding and tackling synergies and trade-offs between SDG 15 (life on land) and other SDGs relevant for sustainable development.
  3. Becoming a key actor in shaping the natural assets science-policy landscape, including the post-2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, organising science for and filling knowledge gaps identified by IPBES, and helping to standardise observations, indicators, scenarios and models on a global level. 

Furthermore, the Natural Assets KAN Development Team worked on refining the conceptual framework of Natural Assets. This work is led by Future Earth's Global Research Projects bioDISCOVERY, GMBA, and GLP and aims at creating an umbrella concept under which different epistemologies and communities can come together and collaborate. The discussions on the conceptual framework built on previous workshops and conference sessions and will be published soon.

List of participants:

  • Elena Bennett: ecoSERVICES/McGill University, Canada
  • Sandra Diaz: National University of Cordoba, Argentina
  • Mike Gill: NatureServe/GEO BON, Canada
  • Ricardo Grau: Global Land Programme/National University of Tucuman-CONICET, Argentina
  • Walter Jetz: Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment/Yale University, USA
  • Cornelia Krug: bioDISCOVERY IPO, Switzerland
  • Maria Jose Martinez-Harms: Center of Applied Ecology and Sustainability, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  • Unai Pascual ecoSERVICES & Global Land Programme/Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) Spain
  • Eva Spehn: Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment IPO, Switzerland
  • Emily Yeh: University of Colorado, USA
  • Ilja Kirianoff: Future Earth Secretariat, France
  • Hannah Moersberger: Future Earth Secretariat, France
  • Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard: Future Earth Secretariat, Canada

If you would like to get more information or if you are interested in a collaboration, please email us at