This article was originally published on Conservation International’s Human Nature Blog


“Natural capital — the sources of the benefits that nature provides, such as flood control, carbon storage and biodiversity — makes up almost half of the wealth in developing nations, according to a report published earlier this year by the World Bank.

Low-income countries are often the most reliant on natural capital, and the most at risk of losing it to unsustainable development and population growth. To gauge your impact on nature, you have to measure it. That’s where NASA comes in.

Through a new three-year partnership between the U.S. space agency and Conservation International, the two organizations will map ecosystems to measure natural capital, giving decision-makers the information they need to grow sustainably. Here, Daniel Juhn, vice president at the Moore Center for Science at Conservation International, explains to Human Nature how this partnership helps countries answer the question: How do we grow without degrading the nature we depend on?

Question: What is unique about this initiative?

Answer: At its core, NASA and Conservation International are working to collect accurate and current data to assess the value that nature brings to people. That’s what is exciting about partnering with NASA, we can begin to assess nature with powerful technology and create the data sets or accounts necessary to value it.

But let’s take a step back. More countries than ever are realizing that they haven’t been considering the value of nature in their decisions, which is absolutely to our detriment. In order to understand the value of nature, we first have to measure it…”

Read on at: Conservation International’s Human Nature Blog.