Natural Capital

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Natural Capital is the collective term for Earth’s natural assets and the Ecosystem Services resulting from them, which make human life possible (Natural Capital Declaration, 2012). Ecosystem Services which result from Natural Capital form the foundation for all human economic activity including food, water and energy.  The value of Natural Capital is becoming increasingly recognised as being critical to economic success and sustainability. Many policy makers and organizations are now focusing on how value can be accurately attributed to Natural Capital and linked to economic policies.

Projects that are successfully verified under the Natural Forest Standard are issued with Natural Capital Credits (NCCs).  NCCs are unique to Natural Forest Standard projects, like other carbon credits NCCs are denominated in tonnes CO2e of avoided GHG emissions.  All NCCs are also rated in terms of biodiversity. Biodiversity is key component of Natural Capital and finding effective ways of protecting it are essential. The use of the Normative Biodiversity Metric is unique to the Natural Forest Standard and offers project developers a solid methodology to ensure no net loss of biodiversity within their project areas.

The Natural Forest Standard aims to conserve and restore natural forests through actions that benefit local communities and indigenous people. In addition to avoiding emissions the NFS offers a framework for the protection of a range of other ecosystem services.  It is essential that projects do not have negative impacts on people living within project areas or on those that have land use rights, and that the needs, rights and interests of these people are recognised by the project developments. By protecting the rights of local people and using their skills and knowledge to enhance Natural Capital, the Natural Forest Standard represents a strong framework for its protection.

The Natural Forest Standard integrates all of the components that are vital in protecting Natural Capital. Carbon, Biodiversity and Social benefits are accounted for under the standard making it a holistic approach to the conservation of Natural Capital.

Please see our papers below for more information on Natural Capital and the Natural Forest Standard.

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