This paper (written jointly with Pierre Bertrand, Edmond Roger and Solofo Rakotondraompiana), “La comptabilité du capital naturel, un outil au service des ODD. Organiser localement le lien entre recherche et action”, was published in October 2017 in Patrick Caron et Jean-Marc Châtaigner (eds.), Un défi pour la planète. Les objectifs de développement durable en débat, IRD éditions (chapter 25). It is partly inspired by a Global Development Network project (funded by the French Development Agency and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development) as part of a global research program on « Natural Resource Management – Natural Wealth Accounting ».
The article studies the conditions for effective action towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. It builds on lessons of the project conducted in Madagascar, which aimed to develop a natural capital accounting method for a protected area. It shows how such a new accounting approach can evolve into a powerful instrument for collaboration between various stakeholders and for considering the links between the environment and socio-economic activities. It concludes that the incentives that support individual and collective action depend crucially on the information that is available on such links. To promote action, this information must be perceived as relevant, legitimate and credible by those who have to take decisions, notably at the local level. This confirms the importance of knowledge production by local actors.Read the article