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Natural Capital Project

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The Natural Capital Project, or NatCap, works to integrate the value nature provides to society into all major decisions. Its ultimate objective is to improve the well-being of all people and nature by motivating greater and more targeted natural capital investments.

NatCap operates as a partnership between Stanford University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Minnesota, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund. It is a team of academics, software engineers, and real-world professionals with the optimism, commitment, and humility to work together. Their common quest is to shine a light on the intimate connections between people and nature, and to reveal, test, and scale ways of securing the well-being of both.

Starting with listening, NatCap works with decision-makers to develop solutions. They use iterative engagement that begins with stakeholders and their needs, so the new science and tools that they develop are immediately relevant and can be incorporated into existing decision processes. NatCap works in a wide array of places and sectors, developing nature-based solutions to problems as varied as: building resilience to climate and coastal hazards in Belize and the Gulf Coast states of the United States; guiding development planning in China, British Columbia, The Bahamas, and Myanmar; managing corporate risk in global sourcing decisions for Unilever; informing impact assessment and permitting for the Colombian Ministry of the Environment; making smart transportation loan decisions by the Inter-American Development Bank across Latin America; targeting investments in forest restoration for IUCN and country governments in Africa.

In addition to developing the evidence for the power of natural capital approaches to transform decisions, NatCap creates software (now downloaded in 160 countries), builds capacity through learning exchanges and trainings, and engages leaders to accelerate the uptake and magnify the impact of successes to date.

More information: Natural Capital Project

 Fact Sheet



Gretchen C. Daily

Bing Professor of Environmental Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and, by courtesy, at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies