Nature's value

Today, a country's economic performance is measured through standardized economic accounting frameworks and it is expressed in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This GDP does integrate natural capital, but from a single economic profit viewpoint. It does not consider nature’s value through the wide variety of ecosystem services and their contributions to human well-being.

The objective of Natural Capital Accounting (NCA), also known as ecosystem accounting, is to provide timely and objective information on the total value of the natural environment. These information is generated according to United Nations System of Environmental Economic Accounting (UN SEEA) and will be incorporated into national, business and other accounts that are recognized by those involved in financial and management decisions. As such, NCA is a tool to make significantly better decisions on natural capital, aiming at a more sustainable socio-economic model and hence contribute to reverse our major societal challenges as biodiversity loss and climate change.

All NCA methodologies acknowledge that ecosystems must be firstly depicted as spatial units and measured in physical units before valuating. Therefore, all NCAs require geospatial data, in particular derived from Earth Observation by satellites and data modelling.


Related Projects:

* INCA21  - “Support on ecosystem accounting – INCA 2021-2023” (financed by Eurostat)

* PAPBIO - “Gouvernance Régionale des Aires Protégées en Afrique de l’Ouest” (Financed by Délégation Union européenne au Burkina Faso)


Related papers:

The Landscape of Environmental Evaluation Methods (in review), Argüello J., Salles J.-M., Couvet D., Smets B., Weber J.-L., Negrutiu I., Anthropocene journal 2021.


Related blogs:

Natural Capital Accounting to protect ecosystem services