Accounting for Natural Capital in EU Policy Decision-Making: A WWF background paper on policy developments | WWF

Accounting for Natural Capital in EU Policy Decision-Making: A WWF background paper on policy developments

Posted on 28 May 2014    
Hilly landscape, Piatra Craiului National Park, Romania
© Wild Wonders of Europe /Cornelia Doerr / WWF

The awareness of nature´s importance for the human wealth and welfare has increased currently. The accounting of nature's value, especially of biodiversity and ecosystems, has further increased significance for policy decision-making.

This WWF background report illustrates the recent trends and developments in natural capital accounting and focuses mostly on the accounting of ecosystems and environment as an improvement of the current approach - national accounting. More and more, tools are being developed and used to reflect the values of natural capital in decision-making:
  • Ecosystem valuations techniques help assess the contribution of ecosystems to human well-being, especially at the local level. The valuation can be expressed in physical or monetary terms.
  • Ecosystem accounting techniques aim to aggregate information to produce statistical results, especially at the national level. They help to reflect the contribution of ecosystems to well-being at the national level, thereby ensuring these values are taken into account in policy decision-making.
Quite a number of policy commitments for the accounting of ecosystems exist already, however the topic has just started and is still at the beginning of its development. For instance the World Bank has started an initiative under the name WAVES (Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services) and the EU an initiative called MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services in Europe).

The WWF believes that valuing and accounting nature´s benefit and reflecting them in decision-making is a crucial part of global conservation efforts. This needs to contribute the valuation of natural capital and should integrate policy decision-making, due to the fact that the lack of nature conservation leads to a missing biodiversity globally. Natural capital accounting is eventually just an additional technique or instrument with the goal - conservation and protection of ecosystems.

In this report, the WWF also provides conclusions and recommendations how to develop the current initiatives to pave the way for a better evolvement of natural capital accounting.

The entire background paper is available

For further information:

Alberto Arroyo

Senior Policy Advisor - Biodiversity
WWF European Policy Office
+36 70 61 38 269

Source of the article

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