natural capital


Natural capital includes access to land, forests, water, grazing, fishing, wild products and biodiversity.

Wikipedia definition:

Natural capital is the world's stock of natural resources, which includes geology, soils, air, water and all living organisms. Natural capital assets provide people with a wide range of free goods and services, often called ecosystem services, which underpin our economy and society and some of which even make human life possible. It is an extension of the economic notion of capital (resources which enable the production of more resources) to goods and services provided by the natural environment. For example, a well-maintained forest or river may provide an indefinitely sustainable flow of new trees or fish, whereas over-use of those resources may lead to a permanent decline in timber availability or fish stocks. Natural capital also provides people with essential services, like water catchment, erosion control and crop pollination by insects, which in turn ensure the long-term viability of other natural resources. Since the continuous supply of services from the available natural capital assets is dependent upon a healthy, functioning environment, the structure and diversity of habitats and ecosystems are important components of natural capital. Methods, called 'natural capital asset checks', help decision-makers understand how changes in the current and future performance of natural capital assets will impact on human well-being and the economy.

Source: Wikipedia - Natural capital