From around the web

Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses

June 05, 2014

Protection from storms is just one of many services that ecosystems provide us — services that we’d otherwise have to pay for, according to this article in the New York Times. In 1997, a team of scientists decided to estimate how much they are actually worth. Worldwide, they concluded, the price tag was $33 trillion — equivalent to $48.7 trillion in today’s dollars.

Washington Post Blog: Why We Should Abolish the GDP

June 05, 2014

What was once a highly technical debate about the failures of conventional economic metrics is fast becoming a world movement to unseat GDP and replace it with something better. In America, many states are finding new, more holistic measures of progress. Already, Maryland, Oregon and Vermont have begun using the genuine progress indicator (GPI).


Coalition Backs Natural Capital Framework

June 04, 2014

The Natural Capital Coalition — a multi-stakeholder coalition whose business signatories include Coca Cola, Kingfisher and Dow Chemical — is seeking to create a framework to standardize how the economic value of natural resources is accounted for and valued.


Moving 'Natural Capital' From Metaphor to Reality

(Yale University)
May 30, 2014

Achieving an actual measurable value for “natural capital” has remained elusive, says Eli Fenichel, an assistant professor of bioeconomics and ecosystems management at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

On Biodiversity Day: From Pets to Safety Nets

May 21, 2014

On Biodiversity Day, Valerie Hickey, an environmental scientist and conservation biologist who specializes in biodiversity at the World Bank, blogs about the social safety net that Mother Nature provides to lift people out of poverty, including 3/4 of the world’s poor that live in rural areas.

GreenBiz 101: Deciphering the Concept of Natural Capital

May 21, 2014

What impact would a local drought have on your company's water supply, regardless of whether your business centers on agriculture? How could it cope with declining supplies of certain lumber? Over the past decade, forward-thinking companies have become far more attuned to the need to recognize the earth's precious resources in their business development and risk assessment exercises.

A Wave of Commitments for Ocean Health

May 01, 2014

World Bank biodiversity specialist, Valerie Hickey, blogs about the commitments to ocean health and a blue economy made at the Global Oceans Action Summit at The Hague in late April. One of those commitments includes WAVES involvement in natural capital accounting of living natural resources in the ocean.

Valuing Natural Capital: What Next and Why?

April 22, 2014

Pavan Sukhdev, Founder-CEO GIST Advisory, asks in this blog "how many of us, if asked five years ago, in 2009, could have predicted such traction for the idea that natural capital must not only be acknowledged as a foundation of business, but measured, valued, accounted for and reported to the public?" Sukhdev also explores two questions: if progress on natural capital is a 'breakthrough or buzzword,' and whether this 'natural capital eureka moment' in the corporate world might cloud a wider

Dialogue Series in Mozambique Discusses Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

April 09, 2014

The importance of prudent management of natural resources for sustainable economic growth is the subject of this study prepared by the World Bank, the public launch of which took place at the Faculty of Economics, University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), sealing a knowledge partnership with the largest university in the Mozambique. 

Quito, Ecuador Improves Climate Adaptation and Conservation of Critical Ecosystems

April 07, 2014

In order to improve management of Quito’s highly valuable ecosystems, the World Bank supported knowledge generation in areas where relevant gaps existed. This project helped develop a full protocol methodology to assess deforestation and land use change in Quito.