The Natural Capital Project is a partnership among Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the University of Minnesota that works to develop and provide practical ecosystem services concepts and tools, apply these tools in select areas around the world, and engage influential leaders to advance change in policy and practice through mainstreaming the approaches. In addition to working with our core partners, we collaborate with many governments, corporations, universities, and other non-profit organizations to integrate ecosystem services approaches into major natural resource decisions, and improve the state of biodiversity and human well-being by motivating greater and more cost-effective investments in both.
Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota
IonE discovers solutions to Earth's most pressing environmental problems by conducting transformative research, developing the next generation of global leaders and building world-changing partnerships.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Nature Conservancy addresses the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale.
We work closely with a number of TNC field offices including:
- Atlantic Forest and Central Savannah (AFCS)
- California Field Office
- Mexico and Northern Central America (MENCA)
- North American Freshwater Team
- Northern Andes and Southern Central America (NASCA)
- TNC Dow Team
- Washington Field Office
Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University
The Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University harnesses the expertise and imagination of leading academics and decision-makers to create practical solutions for people and the planet. In the same spirit that inspired Stanford's role in Silicon Valley's high-tech revolution, the Woods Institute is pioneering innovative approaches to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century – from climate change to sustainable food supplies to ocean conservation.
World Wildlife Fund
For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world's leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
We work closely with a number of WWF field offices including:
- WWF-Greater Mekong Programme
- WWF-Living Amazon Initiative
The ARCOS Network is a biodiversity conservation organization working exclusively in Africa's Albertine Rift. Headquartered in the UK and Uganda, ARCOS uses Natural Capital's InVEST outputs to promote collaborative conservation action, awareness-raising, and biodiversity information exchange. In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, The Natural Capital Project works with ARCOS to support terrestrial ecosystem analysis and decision-making in the Greater Virunga's Landscapes of the Albertine Rift.
Bogota Water Funds
The Natural Capital Project is working with Bogota Water Funds and the Nature Conservancy to improve returns on investments and develop the RIOS (Resource Investment Optimization System) software tool.
California Coastal Commission
The California Coastal Commission works in partnership with coastal cities to plan and regulate the use of water and land. Established by voter initiative in 1972, the Commission offers permits for development activities including construction of buildings and land division on the coast. The Natural Capital Project partners with appointed committee representatives on helping them incorporate climate adaptation strategies into coastal management plans in the state of California.
The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Spanish: Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CONICET) is an Argentine government agency which directs and co-ordinates most of the scientific and technical research done in universities and institutes. CENPAT is a center devoted to anthropology, archeology, biology, ecology, geology, paleontology, oceanography and meteorology.
Center for Ocean Solutions
The Center for Ocean Solutions seeks to elevate the impact of the sciences on ocean policy by integrating cutting edge science and technology with economic, social, and political expertise for the development of practical solutions to major ocean challenges. The Natural Capital Project is working with the Center for Ocean Solutions on climate adaptation planning on the California coast.
Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
The Natural Capital Project works with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) to adapt the InVEST software tool to ecosystems in China. Technical manuals have been translated into Chinese to facilitate this collaboration.
Clark Labs researches and develops geospatial technologies for decision-making in environmental management, sustainable resource development and equitable resource allocation. Based within the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, Clark Labs is known for its flagship product, the IDRISI Selva GIS and Image Processing software.
Coastal Resilience is an organizational framework supporting development decisions that reduce ecological and socioeconomic risks of coastal hazards. Coastal Resilience works to: raise awareness of ecological resources and tools to measure them; assess risks to environmental systems; develop choices for reducing coastal vulnerabilities and sea level rise, and facilitate collaboration on management solutions. The Natural Capital Project collaborates with Coastal Resilience on oyster reef restoration and environmental risk-analysis in ecosystems along the Gulf of Mexico.
Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is the leading marine scientific research organization in Belize and advises the Minister on all matters related to the coastal zone, and on the formation of policies. The Authority is an autonomous public statutory body charged with the responsibility of implementing and monitoring policies that govern the use and development of the coastal zone in Belize, while the Institute carries out the technical functions of coastal management in coordination with the various agencies involved. The Natural Capital Project is working with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute to help them prepare a national coastal zone management plan for Belize.
The Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) works with scientists to develop meaningful measures of ecosystem services and evaluate tradeoffs among them. It bridges science and public engagement by providing resources to researchers to engage decision-makers and impact policy development. The Natural Capital Project works with COMPASS to learn how to better communicate the value of natural capital and ecosystem services to decision-makers and the general public.
The ESA PWA develops planning and adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of global warming. The Natural Capital collaborates with the ESA PWA on climate adaptation strategies on the California coast.
The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) is part of a network of over 100 partnering organizations, including The Natural Capital Project, to organize and improve terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity observations and make data more accessible to policymakers and experts. GEO BON coordinates activities relating to the Societal Benefit Area (SBA) on Biodiversity of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont
The Gund Institute is a transdisciplinary research, teaching, and service organization focused on developing integrative solutions to society's most pressing problems. They conduct integrative research and service-learning projects on a broad range of topics, offer hands-on learning through our problem-solving workshops and courses, develop online teaching resources and international collaborations, and support professional and graduate education through our Graduate Certificates in Ecological Economics and Ecological Design.
Hainan Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
The Natural Capital Project works on Hainan Island to model ecosystem services with the Hainan Research Academy. The Academy leads the study of environmental sciences and ecosystem modeling in China's only tropical province. Its scientific findings and policy insights inform sustainability efforts countrywide. In a joint project in 2008, researchers at the Natural Capital Project mapped ecosystem services such as flood and erosion mitigation, forest habitat and carbon sequestration on a rubber plantation set for expansion.
The Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)
The Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) focuses its research on sustainable management of hydraulic resources and water-related evaluation technologies. The Natural Capital Project collaborates with ICRA and a consortium of Spanish research institutes to measure impacts of global changes on water availability and ecosystem services in river basins of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE)
The Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences focuses its research on environmental degradation and hazard mitigation, sustainable development, and GIS analysis. The Natural Capital Project works with researchers at IMHE on ecosystem service mapping in China to inform government zoning of Ecosystem Function Conservation Areas (EFCAs).
Institute for Population and Development Studies
Xian Jiaotong University's Institute for Population and Development Studies, a part of the School of Public Policy and Administration, is devoted to academic and applicative research to meet societal needs. The Natural Capital Project is engaging in projects with the Institute to study the relationship between human livelihoods and valued ecosystem services in China.
The Latin American Water Funds Partnership
The Latin American Water Funds Partnership supports and advises stakeholder decision-making for water fund projects in Latin American countries. It brings together The Nature Conservancy (TNC), FEMSA Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote investment in conservation and environmental risk-management. The Natural Capital Project is working with the Latin American Water Funds Partnership to create RIOS (Resource Investment Optimization System), a software tool that can help standardize water funds and prioritize investment decisions.
Medellin Water Fund
The Natural Capiral Project is working with the Medellin Water Fund and the Nature Conservancy to improve returns on investments and develop the RIOS (Resource Investment Optimization System) software tool.
The Natural Capital Project is working with Monterey County, Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions and The Nature Conservancy of California to incorporate natural capital in climate adaptation planning. Coastal resources analysis is also taking place in Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz counties.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency within the U.S. Commerce Department committed to conservation and effective management of coastal and marine resources. The Natural Capital Project works closely alongside NOAA at our Seattle offices on a variety of topics including research related to land-sea linkages and ecosystem-based management.
The Project for Ecosystem Services
The Project for Ecosystem Services (PES) is a GEF-funded umbrella organization promoting the integration of ecosystem services approaches into resource management and national development planning.
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
The Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences is the first comprehensive research institution in China engaged in research on eco-environmental science and technology. The Natural Capital Project collaborates with the Research Center on projects that map ecosystem services for Ecosystem Function Conservation Areas (EFCAs) in China
Santa Cruz County
In collaboration with Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions and the Nature Conservancy of California, the Natural Capital Project supports decision-makers in Santa Cruz County to incorporate natural capital in climate adaptation planning. In 2012 The Natural Capital Project began work with Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation (MBSF) to assess the area's vulnerability to future impacts of sea level rise. Coastal resources analysis is taking place in Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties.
The Center for Severe Storm Protection, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SPPEED)
The Center for Severe Storm Protection, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SPPEED) is a research organization based at Rice University studying the impact of destructive storms on the Gulf Coast. The Natural Capital Project works with SPPEED in Texas on measuring co-benefits of coastal hazard mitigation.
Sustainability Science Program
Harvard's Sustainability Science Program promotes the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. It facilitates development interventions that foster shared prosperity and reduced poverty while protecting the environment.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an international initiative highlighting the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. It draws together expertise from science, economics and policy to enable practical action for conservation. The Natural Capital Project is working with TEEB to incorporate natural capital and ecosystem services into decision-making in the business community.
Water for Life
The Water For Life initiative under the Government of Alberta, Canada outlines strategies for the protection and conservation of critical regional water resources. The Water For Life action plan outlines a roadmap that the government and its partners will follow to manage and sustain watersheds in coming years. Researchers at the Natural Capital Project draw from strategies employed by Water For Life to inform their work on marine ecosystems in Vancouver Island, BC.
West Coast Aquatic
West Coast Aquatic is working with First Nations and the Natural Capital Project on coastal and marine spatial planning on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in British Colombia. West Coast Aquatic is an unique entity that strives to bring together people in order to work towards one clear goal of making the west coast the best coast. They are comprised of government, first nations, researchers, scientists, managers, businesses, special interest groups, and many others.
The Natural Capital Project receives financial support from a number of private foundations and government institutions as well as from generous individuals. We are grateful for the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Summit Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google and the Tides Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Defense (DoD), EPA, many private individuals, and our partner organizations The Nature Conservancy (TNC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.