What is natural capital?
Natural capital jargon buster
The elements of nature that produce value - directly and indirectly - to people, such as the stocks of forests, rivers, soil, minerals and oceans.
Source: DEFRA, Natural Capital Committee, 2013
The direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human wellbeing. Examples include carbon sequestration, pollination, recreation and clean, oxygenated air.
Source: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
Natural Capital Accounting:
A rapidly evolving new way of thinking about how we value the economic benefits we derive from the natural environment.
Source: The World Forum on Natural Capital 2013
The variety of life on Earth... the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes.
Source: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Effects of a person's or firm's activities on others which are not compensated. They can be negative or positive. An example is when a company pollutes a local environment in the production of goods, but does not compensate the local community for the negative impacts they experience.
Source: The World Bank
Thanks to the World Forum on Natural Capital for generously sharing the content for this glossary. See their original infographic here.