Natural capital is an economic metaphor for nature; a concept that frames the world's resources like plants, animals, water, and minerals as assets or stocks that yield a flow of benefits to us - a useful framework to ensure these are considered in decision-making.
Natural Capital FAQs
WHAT IS THE NATURAL CAPITAL APPROACH?
The Natural Capital Approach involves measuring and valuing natural capital assets. Values can be expressed in many different ways, including in qualitative and monetary terms. Values can help reveal how natural capital is delivering important benefits to society and the economy. These natural capital assessments can be used to support more sustainable decision-making and ensure we are recognising, respecting and restoring nature's value.
WHAT IS IT NOT?
The Natural Capital Approach is not about putting a price on nature; it's simply evidencing the value of nature in the way most people understand value best.
WHAT IS NATURAL CAPITAL ACCOUNTING?
Natural Capital Accounting is a system for organising information about natural capital assets and ecosystem services.
The UN has a standard for this type of accounting, called the SEEA, or the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts. The aim of organising this information is to help decision-makers understand how the environment interacts with the economy.
To learn more, check out our Quick Reads and our INCASE project, applying the concept in Irish catchments for the first time
HOW DOES BIODIVERSITY FIT IN?
Biodiversity is all of our planet's living resources that, when combined with non-living resources, form the assets that the natural capital approach considers as benefiting society and the economy.
WHAT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?
The state, or health, of our living organisms plays a critical role in climate change prevention and mitigation. With biodiversity at the heart of natural capital, work to value, protect and restore natural capital and ecosystem services is in direct support of climate change efforts.
From international leaders
Learn more on natural capital from those working alongside NCI