Pioneering research project explains “Natural Capital Accounting”

Posted on: 18 June 2020

This week a pioneering research project led by Trinity College Dublin has launched an explainer video on Natural Capital Accounting – a standardised method to assess nature’s stocks and the flows of services that these assets contribute to humanity.

Natural capital accounts can help decision makers to better understand how the environment impacts the economy, and vice versa.

The video, launched by the EPA-funded INCASE project, builds on the momentum for a green recovery from the global pandemic, as well as the EU’s Green Deal. The INCASE project brings together natural scientists, economists and statisticians from Trinity, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Galway, and the Irish Forum on Natural Capital to study how Natural Capital Accounting can be applied in Ireland.

Working with experts from Australia (IDEEA Group), the team is developing Natural Capital Accounts at catchment scale to test and refine the process for the Irish context.

Project lead, Professor Jane Stout, from Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences, said:

“Natural capital accounting is a standardised way of recognising the benefits that flow from different types of natural systems, including living systems like woodlands, bogs, grasslands, wetlands, rivers and seas, as well as from the non-living geosystems and the atmosphere. It’s a way of systematising our natural assets.”

“The new Programme for Government includes a review of land use and policy co-benefits of different land use, and this approach is one way to do that.”

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