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Breakout Session

What Happens if We Do Nothing?

The true cost of natural capital degradation


At a time where New Zealand is looking at easing on environmental regulation, the consequences of non-compliance with environmental regulations protecting share natural capital internationally have never been more stark. 

This paper explores the international spectrum of environmental degradation and its effects on local economies, businesses,  and ecosystems. We draw upon pertinent examples such as the derogation issue in Ireland, where non-compliance in agricultural practices has significantly contributed to water pollution, negatively impacting both local biodiversity and the agricultural industry itself. Similarly, in Italy, litigation against the hazelnut industry highlights the repercussions of overlooking environmental guidelines, with Lake Vico suffering from severe eutrophication due to unchecked agricultural runoff.

New Zealand is a country whose prosperity is intricately linked to its pristine natural environments, the stakes of environmental compliance are particularly high. As the two mainstays of the New Zealand economy—dairy and tourism—both heavily rely on the health of the country's natural resources, the balance of compliance is not just beneficial but essential. Non-compliance poses not only a risk to our environmental integrity but also to our economic stability and international reputation.

This presentation will underscore the importance of robust environmental compliance frameworks and enforcement, using data-driven insights and case studies to illustrate the long-term financial benefits of a sustainable approach to environmental management for our economy and communities, and the risks created when taking a short term view.




Abi Croutear-Foy
Managing Director, AquaWatch Solutions


As the MD for AquaWatch Solutions Ltd (AquaWatch), a New Zealand company that monitors the vital signs of waterways, Abi is truly passionate about the world her boys will inherit and shifting water quality management conversations from assumptions, to facts.

Abi is responsible for driving the company’s commitment to enhancing water for generations to come. Prior to joining AqauWatch, Abi worked in financial services internationally and brings a risk reduction approach to Environmental Managment


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