From around the web

Transforming the Goals of Economic Development

November 03, 2014

This Huffington Post blog explores how Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) could transform economic development by catalyzing a new source of economic prosperity, helping to reverse the global decline in biodiversity, sustaining nature and significantly improving human wellbeing. The author says that if companies were to include in their financial accounts how much they contributed to or detracted from natural capital something fundamental to the way that the economy works would change.

How Natural Capital Is Redefining Success

October 22, 2014

In this Huffington Post blog, Rainforest Alliance President Tensie Whelan says there is still a distance to go before there is real specificity and widespread agreement among companies and consumers about what terms like "natural capital" or "sustainability" mean. She says this can be seen as a shortcoming or a vacuum, but it's also a huge opportunity for smart businesses to take up and that more than ever consumers want to live meaningfully and engage with brands that have a purpose.

Valuing Natural Capital Helps Companies Make Better Business Decisions

October 15, 2014

A new game called "Evaluate", produced by the Cambridge-hosted Natural Capital Leaders Platform, introduces natural capital valuation and shows how it can inform commercial decisions that mitigate risk, reduce negative environmental impacts, and create value.

Beyond the Allure of the Serengeti: What Can Nature-Based Tourism do for Development?

September 26, 2014

In this blog, Paula Caballero, Senior Director of the World Bank's Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, describes how sustainable tourism policies can be an engine of growth to meet Tanzania's development needs and that the same assets that support tourism also need to serve the poorest who depend on nature for their survival.

Bloomberg Becomes Official Supporter of the Natural Capital Declaration

September 19, 2014

Bloomberg has become an official supporter of the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), the global finance-led initiative convened by the Global Canopy Programme (GCP) and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The NCD is endorsed by leaders of financial institutions and aims to integrate natural capital considerations into financial products and services, accounting, disclosure and reporting.

The Birds and the Bees (and how they connect to agricultural economics)

September 03, 2014

World Bank Environmental Specialist, Julian Lee, writes in this blog that the dramatic decline in honeybee populations has received wide media coverage, and not just because it imperils honey production. He says that agricultural production is also at risk, due to the important role bees play as pollinators.

Benefits of Valuing Nature for the Caribbean Netherlands

August 26, 2014

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Caribbean Netherlands’ – Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius islands - research draws attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity and highlights the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation by assigning economic values to the main ecosystem services of the Caribbean Netherlands. 

Redefining Gross Domestic Product to Account for Sustainability

August 06, 2014

Countries are ranked by GPD or GDP per citizen, implying that countries with higher rankings are doing better overall than countries with lower rankings. But GDP doesn’t actually tell us much about the value of natural capital, like clean air or healthy forests. Such natural goods and services, despite their great economic contributions, are largely viewed as free.

Is Natural Capital a 'Neoliberal Road to Ruin'? Experts Discuss

August 01, 2014

In his SPERI Annual Lecture hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield, Guardian columnist George Monbiot maintained that it is impossible to price up nature, that monetising the natural world pushes it further into a discredited financial system, and that the interests of power will win out.

Maybe in America (New York Times Opinion Piece on Preserving Natural Capital in Madagascar)

July 30, 2014

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes from Madagascar about the importance of preserving the country's ecosystems, which are vital for sustaining its people and attracting tourism. Friedman writes that the population of Madagascar is exploding, and the forests and soils are eroding.