The benefits derived from natural resources include food, recreation and clean air and water. The aim of valuing these resources is to quantify better the cost of their degradation. This POSTnote summarises how to value natural capital, discusses the advantages and challenges of approaches and describes some initiatives to secure natural capital for the future.Jump to full report >>
It has been estimated that the UK's population will rise by nearly 10 million in the next 25 years, increasing demands on natural resources. Evidence suggests degradation of ecosystems will negatively affect human wellbeing. Reports such as the UN's Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) global reports have highlighted the importance of incorporating the natural environment into national accounting frameworks. One way to achieve this is through natural capital (NC) valuation.
Key points in this POSTnote include:
An update to this note was made 01 Feb 2017.
POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing, including:
*Denotes people who acted as external reviewers of the briefing.
Author: Kirsten Miller
Topic: Environmental protection
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.