Natural capital, i.e. biodiversity and its manifold services, forms the basis for human well-being
and economic prosperity. However, while physical and human capital is largely considered
in our day-to-day decisions, natural capital is rarely taken into account through price
signals in markets, or in decisions by business and citizens, nor reflected adequately in the
accounts of society. As a ... [Show full abstract] consequence, biodiversity is lost at an unprecedented rate that
puts the sustained provision of ecosystem services at risk. If the transition towards a Green
Economy should be accomplished, we argue that the value of nature and its services for society
have to be better understood and recognized in decision-making.
By adopting an economic perspective, “Natural Capital Germany – TEEB DE” aims to
make nature’s services more visible and help designing institutions to capture its manifold
values. The project is the German contribution to the international TEEB initiative (The
Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity). Natural Capital Germany is up to deliver four
thematic reports on the economic significance
of nature and its services to augment other
arguments for nature conservation.
The contribution at hand draws on evidence compiled by Naturkapital Deutschland
and takes an economic viewpoint on the reasons for the ongoing loss of biodiversity and
highlights options to capture the value of nature and its services in decision-making in order
to safeguard natural capital and sustain ecosystem service provision.