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Ian Dickie (eftec – economics for the environment) shares his thoughts on how natural capital can add value to the city environment.


“Like any other spending, attracting investment in the environment, from governments or businesses, requires sufficient evidence showing their effectiveness and benefits. For many years this was bad news for environmentalists, as often the evidence needed isn’t available, particularly in an ‘appropriate’ (monetary) form. But this reality has ultimately led to a new wave of thinking about sourcing, supplying, and communicating, and has in part acted as a catalyst to the concept of Natural Capital.

Throughout the development of Natural Capital concepts and Natural Capital Accounting the aim has been to give decision-makers what they need to know, to gather that information, and to produce it in formats that allow them to compare their options. Our existence, health and happiness depend on the natural environment, so if we can capture how specific investments will help maintain what we depend on, human well-being can benefit.

The need for Natural Capital analysis to inform decision-making is vitally important where developments are happening quickly, where there are a large number of people at risk of being affected, or where natural resources are most strained, as is the case in many cities. What can further complicate the issue in urban environments is the lack of available space and increasing financial and environmental pressures from multiple industries and users…”

Read on at: Ecosystems Knowledge Network.