Category: Natural capital

Conservation or land grab? The financialization of nature

Read the full story from Common Dreams.

Just in time for the UN’s policy push for “30 x 30″—30% of the earth to be “conserved” by 2030—a new Wall Street asset class puts up for sale the processes underpinning all life.

The professor who assigns value to nature — then persuades world leaders to save it

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Gretchen Daily is a pioneer in the field known as “natural capital.” Using science and
software, she shows stakeholders why it benefits everyone to prioritize conservation.

New tool helps banks, investors take immediate action to reverse biodiversity loss

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

A new ENCORE biodiversity module by the Natural Capital Finance Alliance — a collaboration between the UN Environment Program (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the UNEP Finance Initiative and Global Canopy — enables banks and investors to analyze the potential impact of their investment activities in agriculture and mining on biodiversity loss, with focus on species extinction and loss of ecological integrity.

Nature-based solutions for adaptation Are underfunded — but offer big benefits

Read the full story from the World Resources Institute.

Nature-based solutions are key to advancing climate adaptation. These are approaches that work with nature, not against it — from restoring wetlands, which can protect against storms, to conserving forests that stabilize soil and runoff during floods. Mangrove forests, for example, save an estimated $80 billion per year in avoided losses from coastal flooding globally, and protect up to 18 million people. Additionally, nature-based solutions can provide many co-benefits — for nature, economies, communities, culture and health.

But despite these extensive benefits, new research finds that as little as 1.5% of all public international climate finance has gone to support nature-based solutions for adaptation in developing countries. Just a handful of major bilateral donors and multilateral institutions have driven public funding for these approaches.

Stanford researchers develop new software for designing sustainable cities

Read the full story from Stanford University.

New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. The free, open-source software developed by the Stanford Natural Capital Project creates maps to visualize the links between nature and human wellbeing. City planners and developers can use the software to visualize where investments in nature, such as parks and marshlands, can maximize benefits to people, like protection from flooding and improved health.

UN launches the first artificial intelligence tool for rapid natural capital accounting

Read the full story from the UN Environment Programme.

An innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool that will make it easier for countries to measure the contributions of nature to their economic prosperity and well‑being was launched today by the United Nations and the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3).

Developed by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and BC3, the new tool can vastly accelerate implementation of the new ground-breaking standard for valuing the contributions of nature that was adopted by the UN Statistical Commission last month.

The tool makes use of AI technology using the Artificial Intelligence for Environment and Sustainability (ARIES) platform to support countries as they apply the new international standard for natural capital accounting, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Ecosystem Accounting.

The new open-source and user-friendly digital tool, called the ARIES for SEEA Explorer, enables rapid and standardized yet customizable ecosystem accounting anywhere on Earth.

Yes, you can put a price on nature. Doing so could stop environmental destruction

Read the full story at Massive Science.

Gretchen C. Daily won the “Nobel Prize for the Environment” for her work on natural capital.

Interactive map developed by Stanford researchers shows nature’s contributions to people

Read the full story from Stanford University’s Natural Capital Project.

Nature supports people in critical ways, often at a highly local level. Wild bees buzz through farms, pollinating vegetables as they go. Nearby, wetlands might remove chemicals from the farm’s runoff, protecting a community drinking water source. In communities all around the world, nature’s contributions are constantly flowing to people. Scientists have mapped these contributions at local levels for years, but a new Stanford-led study puts these local analyses on an interactive global map that emphasizes nature’s declining ability to protect people from water pollution, coastal storms and under-pollinated crops.

Better carbon accounting in European forests informed by Canadian model

Read the full story at the Climate Examiner.

The EU is implementing a new carbon accounting approach for its forests that improves the scientific rigour of previous methods.


Study: Using social media to better understand urban park use

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota.

What makes a park popular? And how many people are using it?

City planners and park managers traditionally have had to rely on costly, time-consuming methods such as surveys to gather answers to these types of questions. A group of researchers with ties to the Natural Capital Project have a solution: They’re using social media to uncover patterns of urban park use.

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