“Unlocking the value of nature with natural capital accounting.”

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Article Summary


  • Natural capital accounting complements GDP to provide a fuller picture of living standards
  • Geospatial data plays a crucial role in managing ecosystem services and environmental sustainability

The article makes a strong case for natural capital accounting as a way to harmonize environmental sustainability with economic exigencies. It argues that GDP is an incomplete measure of living standards and that rising GDP does not necessarily mean that living standards are improving. Natural capital accounting offers the solution to this issue by providing a more comprehensive view of trends in living standards. Geospatial professionals play a key role in this process by providing accurate, comprehensive, and consistent location intelligence to determine the impact of development on ecosystem services.

The article highlights case studies in the Philippines that demonstrate the importance of geospatial information in managing ecosystem services like water provision, carbon sequestration, and flood prevention. These case studies illustrate how natural capital accounts have influenced policymaking and led to evidence-based changes in planning regulations and behaviors of stakeholders. The importance of understanding the value of a country’s environmental assets for sustainable development and economic growth is emphasized.

Additionally, the article discusses the outcomes of COP28 and the agreements made regarding the increased use of geospatial evidence in decision-making. It also stresses the need for geospatial professionals to stay informed and educated to contribute effectively to discussions on natural capital accounting and environmental sustainability.

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