ROOM: Kiva Auditorium
Director of Global Sustainability, Caterpillar, Inc.
Co-Chief, External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy
Chief Scientist, Ducks Unlimited
Increasing global population and the resulting demand for resources has produced severe impacts to much of the world’s natural infrastructure such as forests, prairies, agricultural lands, estuaries, coastal landscapes and wetlands. Healthy natural infrastructure offers many economic, environmental and social benefits – including productive fisheries along our coasts, increased biodiversity, improved storm resilience, recreation and tourism opportunities, improved water quality and enhanced scenic beauty. As the earth’s population grows from 7 billion to over 9 billion in the next few decades, restoring the health and productivity of our natural infrastructure will become paramount for addressing the growing need for food, clean air and clean water. Collaboration between governments, communities, businesses and NGOs on policy development and improvement would promote, support, and guide the prioritization, funding and best practice implementation of natural infrastructure restoration. Solidifying the business case for natural infrastructure restoration could provide incentives and mechanisms for expanded private sector investment in the industry. Increased collaboration is also likely to foster innovation within the industry. During this session, Kathryn Spitznagle, Caterpillar’s global director of sustainability, will moderate a discussion with Ducks Unlimited and others focused on the business fundamentals for restoring natural infrastructure. Topics will include: restoration projects currently happening; plans and goals for additional restoration; barriers that prevent scale-up from happening; how to frame the economic case; how to unlock the creativity of individuals, communities and corporations; and how to attract capital at appropriate scale.