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EditPhoto Title:Valuing and Accounting for Natural Capital
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EditImage Description:Woman harvests crops
EditPhoto Credit:© Benjamin Drummond
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National accounting systems that treat nature as a free, unlimited resource fail to account for the vital goods and services nature provides to people.​

Natural capital accounting (NCA) is the measurement and valuation of nature’s benefits in terms of ecosystem goods and services — like fresh water, flood control and forest products — to be incorporated into a general standard format consistent with conventional national accounts.

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NCA helps policymakers and decision-makers better understand that economic development is dependent on natural resources, both as a supply for economic production as well as for their​ ability to absorb waste and pollution. By providing information on a country’s natural resource availability, use, depletion and degradation, NCA seeks to integrate natural resources into development planning.


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Edit Item Text:We are measuring, valuing and accounting for natural capital through the Ecosystems Values, Assessment and Account (EVA) project. EVA is pilot testing an accounting framework for ecosystems — an approach that allows nature’s benefits to be incorporated into the official economic statistics, facilitating their integration with other relevant social and economic indicators and, as a result, enhancing decision-making and planning.
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Edit Item Text:Through EVA, we are assessing trends and changes in ecosystems’ condition and extent, measuring and valuing ecosystem benefits to local populations, and linking those to the economy. The implementation of EVA relies strongly on multi-institutional support to build momentum for ecosystem accounting beyond the implementing region.
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Edit Item Text:Funded through a grant from the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, EVA is being implemented in San Martín, Peru, a region characterized by high biodiversity as well as progressive and innovative government policies that address threats to ecosystems, development and livelihoods.
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EditQuote Text (Do not add quotation marks):Poverty will only be made history when nature enters economic calculations in the same way as do buildings, machines, roads and, for example, software.
EditQuote Attribution:Das Gupta, 2005
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    EditSection Title:From deforestation to green development
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      EditImage Description: Beautiful farm on the edge of the Alto Mayo Protected Forest. San Martin, Peru
      EditText: Historically, the region of San Martín has been considered an important link between the highland communities of the Andes and the Amazon basin. San Martín has flourished primarily thanks to agricultural commodities. Over the last 50 years, the region has had a high degree of deforestation. Since 2007, the regional government has made the strategic decision to change its course of history — from being a deforested, underdeveloped region with drug traffic and terrorist activities to being a green development region. EVA seeks to support this strategic choice by indicating ways to stimulate sustainable development and to improve natural resources management in the region.
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      EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Bailey Evans
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      EditSection Title:Experimental ecosystems accounting
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        EditImage URL: /SiteCollectionImages/ci_30837978.jpg
        EditImage Description: Map fo Cocha Cashu plots
        EditText: An accounting framework for ecosystems, such as the United Nations' Experimental Ecosystems Accounting (EEA), requires the use of a consistent set of principles to document information on ecosystem benefits as well as changes to ecosystems over time. By testing methodologies for such measurements, EVA can have an impact beyond the project site of implementation and thus contribute directly to the development of the nascent ecosystems accounting framework. In addition to collaborating with the United Nations Systems of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA), which leads the EEA, EVA is also working in close collaboration with the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), a World Bank-led global partnership to promote sustainable development through implementation of NCA in several countries.
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        EditPhoto Credit:© Benjamin Drummond
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          EditSection Title:Informing decision-making and policies
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            EditImage Description: Participants of a live workshop on transects. San Martin, Peru
            EditText: Through the EVA project, we are identifying key opportunities to support policies that incorporate information on ecosystem services into more effective decision-making and management for both the public and private sector. While implemented at a regional level, EVA is also considering important national-level processes. Peru is an ideal country to pioneer and implement experimental ecosystem accounting given its demonstrated commitment to incorporating information on natural capital into decision-making — as evidenced by the country’s strong policy framework and efforts toward conservation of its national heritage.
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            More of Our Work Links

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            First Image

            EditTitle:Climate
            EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
            EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

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            EditTitle:Science and Innovation
            EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80568511.tif
            EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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            EditTitle:The Ocean
            EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16084886.jpg
            EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
            EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse