Natural capital


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Natural capital

  1. 1. Natural CapitalMichal Crawford-ZimringMinneapolis College of Art and Design2012 course 12SD
  2. 2. OverviewClearly humanity benefits from nature, and whether we know it or not, our survival as ahuman species depends on the success of the ecosystems that provide us with benefitsand flow of services.This slide presentation provides an introduction to the concept of Natural Capital andhow the idea of assigning economic value to natural capital helps us prosper in a waythat is sustainable not only for us and the generations to come, but is also essential forthe survival of planet earth.
  3. 3. What is Natural Capital?Natural capital comes from the generalnotion of capital -- which is “a stock thatprovides a flow of valuable goods orservices into the future.”The stock of natural resources that weexperience as goods and services comefrom the ecosystems.Natural capital links the benefits fromecosystem services with the ecological,economic and sociocultural values thatprovide us (humans) with health, securityand prosperity.
  4. 4. Understanding Ecosystem ServicesThe concept of ecosystem services helps us understand and describe how the environment provides usa multitude of benefits. These collection of benefits are known as “services’. Ecosystems are interrelated communities that are linked through cycles of energy and nutrient flows. They are dynamic systems that are subject to disturbances and stress, but they are resilient and can bloom with diversity and evolutionary success. air oxygen energy from sun ECOSYSTEM habitat plant/animal water biodiversity nutrients nutrients
  5. 5. Global CATEGORIES OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES GNP 18 Ecosystem Trillion $US ServicesPROVISIONING 33 Trillion $USThese services are usually described as ecosystem goods and represent the tangible benefits that arederived from ecosystems. These are services that are easier to see and have a market value. Wood, fiber, forests, grazing lands, agricultural products, food, honey production, biochemical or Ecosystem Valuation pharmaceutical, genetic resources, fur and animal skins. Estimates Trillion $US (1997)REGULATORY Service ValueThey are more difficult to quantify because they seem less tangible and are usually clasified as public goods. Soil 17.1These services represent the ecosystem processes that are needed for human health and infrastructure. Recreation 3.0 Water regulation, fire regulation, climate mitigation, disease and pest control for crops and livestock pollination services and water purification Nutrient cycling 2.3 Water purification 2.3 and regulationSUPPORTING Climate regulation 1.8These services help the other services to work. They can also be called ecosystem processes. 1.4 Habitat Habitat protection and management, fish habitat, soil productivity, coastal and wetland zone management, photosynthesis, water cycling, nutrient cycling, primary production, native pollination, pest resistance Flood and storm 0.8 protection Genetic resources 0.8 CULTURAL Atmosphere gas 0.7 This category includes environmental and natural resources that are intangible but of value to people, their balance families and cultures. 0.4 Pollination national parks, recreation, fishing, special sites, educational and ecotourism, heritage values for land and species, spiritual and religious values All others 1.6 TOTAL 33.3
  6. 6. Natural Capital Valuation FrameworkNatural Capital NATURAL CAPITALValuation Approach Human activities public/private Ecosystem ServicesThe natural capitalvaluation approachLINKS value from Economic, ecologicalnatural capital with socio/cultural valuesdollar amounts. $ Adapted from NRC 2005
  7. 7. Natural Capital and SustainabilityWe have a challenging task and a common goal.We must find new guidelines and principles If protection of natural capitalbased on the belief that sustaining ecosystems and pricing of environmentaland natural capital are of the utmost importance. resources is neglected, if economic and societal developmentWe have lived for far too long not knowing the continue on a path of exploitiveimportance of natural capital - it has been over- growth and resource depletion,looked and invisible. natural capital will decline. We need to find ways to incorporate the economic costs and benefits of natural capital into a sustainable financial system. Then we need to restructure the financial sector so that we learn to live off the interest of natural capital, not its principle.
  8. 8. How are we goingto do that???
  9. 9. Let’s start with a story about coffee.Did you have a cup of coffee this morning?Maybe you made it yourself at home, maybe you grabbeda cup of your favorite fair trade brand from your baristaand dropped something in the tip jar. But did you thank the bees?
  10. 10. Coffee is grown in many regions of the world that are rich in biodiversity from the tropicalCoffee is the SECOND most valuably traded commodity rain forest ecosystems.on the world market, just behind petroleum. Agricultural production of coffee depends partially on natural ecosystem services such as pollination from bees.
  11. 11. But there is a conflict! Bees provide pollination services for coffee plants to grow, and the bees need the biodiversity of their tropical forest habitat to survive. Farmers think they can grow more coffee if they cut down the forest to have moreMany coffee growers are land.small farmers who arejust scraping by. Theywork hard and need money.
  12. 12. Bees and Natural Capital Recently there have beenCrop pollination by bees declines in bee populationsand other animals is an and scientists are prettyessential ecosystem sure that there are aservice that increases number of causes --crop yields both in quantity PESTICIDESand quality. LOSS OF HABITAT GLOBAL WARMING It has been estimated PARASITES that the global value of STRESS pollination serivces is close to $200 billion. Native habitats such as the forests that surround coffee farms are rich in biodiversity and can support large numbers of bees as long as their habitat is maintained.
  13. 13. So some scientists from the Natural Capital Project went down toCosta Rica to set up a study project focused on native bee pollinationservices and their proximity to a native forest habitat. When the habitat was close to the coffee farms, the bees would visit more often and their pollination increased coffee yields 15~50% above normal yields. For the farmers it amounted to a $60,000 increase in income for that year.This gave the Costa Rican Environmental incentive to pay land-owners to conserve forest lands in proximity to coffee growing areas. This is an example that illustrates the potentially valuable kinds of benefits and economic incentives that can be incorporated into land use and conservation designs. This is a way to value the present and invest in future sustainability.
  14. 14. Natural capital is still poorly understood, so organizations such as The Natural Capital Project are important for scientists,conservationists and government decision makers provide this important link. But there is a huge gap in understanding amongthe general population. My design proposal is to create an app. The focus audience will be high school and college studentsand the general public. It’s called What’s In Mother Nature’s Wallet? What’s In Mother Nature’s Wallet This will result in huge problems Read about Ecosystem not only for the environment, but Find Facts Services for natural life support ecosystems. There will be increased market prices, food shortages and decreased quality of life. Money does grow on Trees We must find ways to grow our economies and$ takeforests What is the value of responsibilty for the accounting of natural T to a forester alk What is the $ value of pollination capital. T to a Beekeeper alk Find out how What is the $ value of a wetland to earn points T to an ecologist/wetland alk and prizes
  15. 15. Thank you. Sources: Ricketts, T.H., Daily, G.C., Ehrlich, P.R., and C. D. Michener, (2004) Economic value of tropical forest to coffee production (