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Natural Capital

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The true worth of our natural world is still being discovered.

Stanford researchers are developing knowledge and strategies to support sustainable development, with pioneering tools for decision-makers and community-led programs designed to balance the needs of people and planet. By quantifing how land and water meet society’s needs, we can predict benefits from investments in nature. Through initiatives like the Natural Capital Project, Stanford researchers are integrating scientific and economic understanding of natural assets. They are delivering that knowledge, developing clear, credible and practical software-based tools and showing marine and land-use managers around the world how to use them. This enables decision-makers not only to maximize the societal value of land and water, but also to evaluate and assess potential decisions on conservation, human development and natural resources investment. This approach holds the promise of transforming how governments and businesses factor the values of nature into policy and decision-making.