Monday, June 9, 2014

Integrating Nature, Environment, Human Well-Being

C. Coimbra Photo
"The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) aims to integrate the values of nature into all major decisions affecting the environment and human well-being. Our ultimate objective is to improve the state of biodiversity and human well-being by motivating greater and more cost-effective investments in both.
"NatCap develops simple, use-driven approaches to valuing nature, works closely with decision makers, and provides free, open source ecosystem service software tools to a broad community of users. We are a partnership combining research innovation at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota with the global reach of conservation science and policy at The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. We work with leaders around the world to test and demonstrate how accounting for nature's benefits can support more sustainable investment and policy decisions...

"NatCap has developed practical, science-based approaches and software tools that quantify, map, and value services provided by nature. Accounting for ecosystem services reveals the diverse benefits provided by nature, clarifies tradeoffs between alternative development scenarios, and helps people make more informed decisions about how to use lands and waters.
"Since our founding in 2006, we have applied our approaches and tools in more than 20 major projects worldwide—guiding investments in water security in Latin America, in coastal protection in the Gulf of Mexico, in food security and economic diversification in Belize, and in community development in Canada and Hawai`i."

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