Media Coverage & Publicity
The Natural Capital Project is at the forefront of the movement to align economic forces with conservation. Over the years we have been featured in numerous pieces in the local, national, and international news. Here you will find a selection of recent news articles as well as our latest press releases. For the most up-to date information, you may wish to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Resource Strain Pushes Coca-Cola, Dow to Put Price Tags on Nature by Avery Fellow
Bloomberg News May 9, 2013
by Avery Fellow
Twenty-four companies agreed at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 to develop a methodology for natural capital accounting.To determine the value of natural resources, partnerships like the Natural Capital Project have developed accounting methods, said Mary Ruckelshaus, the project's managing director. Dow, Coca-Cola, and other companies use these methods to make decisions about natural capital.
Tapped Out: How Will Cities Secure Their Water Future? by Brian Richter
National Geographic May 8, 2013
by Brian Richter
Today, global demands for food, energy, and shelter are putting unprecedented pressure on the resources of the planet. Water is at the heart of this crisis. In fact, more than half of the world's cities are already experiencing water shortages on a recurring basis – based on findings from a study that I published, along with 13 of my colleagues, this week in the Water Policy journal. These water-stressed cities are finding it extremely difficult and expensive to secure the additional water supplies needed to support their growth.
Why and How Conservation Needs to Tackle Human Well-Being: A Q&A with Heather Tallis by Bob Lalasz
Science Chronicles | Conservation Gateway May 2013
by Bob Lalasz
Can conservation make a decisive and systematic contribution to solving social problems and improving the lives of people — especially the world's poor? Finding out is Heather Tallis's job: As a new lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy in charge of the Conservancy's new Human Dimensions Program, it's her task to bring "people metrics" to assess the impact of the Conservancy's work on the ground on people. She's also charged with integrating innovative economics and social science into the organization's field work in a way that builds conservation methods and tools that can benefit everyone.
True Natural Capital by Nick Conger
On Balance | WWF Blog April 30th, 2013
by Nick Conger
Scanning the busy agenda for this week's Fortune Brainstorm Green, I'm struck by the opening and closing sessions of the first day. Focusing these highly visible sessions on the economics of conservation is telling. Indeed, how businesses, financial institutions and governments account for nature as a material asset has become the hottest sustainability topic of 2013.
Wild Pollinators Are Critical to Keeping Our Picnic Baskets Full by Christina Kennedy, Senior Scientist of The Nature Conservancy's Development by Design program
Huffington Post Green Blog April 18th, 2013
by Christina Kennedy, Senior Scientist of The Nature Conservancy's Development by Design program
Bees may seem like uninvited guests at your picnic -- but before you shoo them away from the fruit salad, think twice, as they play a critical role in making your picnic possible.
Dialogues on the Environment: Q&A With Gretchen Daily by Mark Tercek, President & CEO of The Nature Conservancy
Huffington Post Green Blog April 17st, 2013
by Mark Tercek, President & CEO of The Nature Conservancy
Since joining The Nature Conservancy, and over the course of writing Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature, I've been fortunate to benefit from the perspectives and advice of many leaders of the environmental community. To continue the conversation on the ideas in Nature's Fortune, I recently spoke with leading conservationists, CEOs, scientists, academics and activists about the environmental movement -- what's working well, what we could do better and what they see as the biggest challenges and opportunities ahead.
Q&A: Gretchen Daily, ecologist, on quantifying nature's value by Laura Shin
SmartPlanet April 1st, 2013
by Laura Shin
Most of us think of nature as being free, or priceless. Yet, recent disasters like Superstorm Sandy show just how valuable nature is, such as for protecting coastal communities from inundation. Can we quantify nature's value in ways that help us make important decisions?
If Money Talks, Maybe It's Time to Give Ecosystems a Voice by Alex Johnson
Earth Island Journal March 28, 2013
by Alex Johnson
As traditional conservation methods fail to staunch biodiversity loss, some conservationists are embracing the idea of "ecosystems services"
Scientists See Big Impacts on U.S. Ecosystems from Global Warming by ANDREW C. REVKIN
Dot Earth - New York Times December 19, 2012
by ANDREW C. REVKIN
A new analysis by dozens of scientists provides a useful update on measured and anticipated impacts of human-driven climate change on ecosystems from western forests to coastal waters. The report, "Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services," is one of a suite of studies feeding into what will be the third National Climate Assessment, an overarching analysis of impacts on everything from transportation systems to public health.
Global warming likely to result in net loss of biodiversity by Bob Berwyn
Summit Voice December 19, 2012
by Bob Berwyn
A major new report suggests that climate change will probably result in a net loss in global biodiversity, as plants and animal species shift their geographic ranges and the timing of their life events — such as flowering, laying eggs or migrating — at faster rates than researchers documented just a few years ago.
Gretchen Daily: What Is Nature Worth? by Mary Hoff
Ensia December 3rd, 2012
by Mary Hoff
What is nature worth? From one perspective, it's priceless. From another, it's not only valuable, but value-able as well. Stanford University conservation biologist Gretchen Daily, who gave wings to the concept of ecosystem services in the 1990s, is working around the world to help policymakers recognize the economic worth of the benefits nature provides.
Standardized Science for Secure Water by Heather Tallis and Adrian Vogl
Science Chronicles August 6th, 2012
by Heather Tallis and Adrian Vogl
Water funds are taking off like a wildfire in Latin America. But like a wildfire, they run the risk of burning too hot and too fast to help the ecology (and the people) in the system. The rapid expansion of water funds in latitudes south has presented some challenges for The Nature Conservancy and its partners, which are trying to make the most of a potentially great tool for bringing nature's value into the real economy.
Are There Too Many People on the Planet? by Peter Kareiva
Science Chronicles August 6th, 2012
by Peter Kareiva
Before you read any further, please answer the question in the headline. Even better, send me an e-mail at email@example.com giving me your answer and why you answered the question, however you did. Finished? Now read on. I am guessing that a lot of you answered yes. Now let's think this through:
Wonders of a Hopeful World - #7 Water Funds in Latin America Featuring Heather Tallis and Jon Foley
Momentum Fall, 2012
Featuring Heather Tallis and Jon Foley
Global survey reveals routes to boosting crop yields Featuring Nathaniel Mueller and Jon Foley
Nature NewsAugust 29th, 2012
Featuring Nathaniel Mueller and Jon Foley
With 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050, researchers are running out of time to develop new ways to feed them sustainably. But an analysis published today in Nature suggests that strategies already exist that could shrink the 'yield gap' — which they define as the difference between attainable and actual yields of food crops. Assembling the most comprehensive global data set of crop yields and fertilizer use yet produced, the study authors show that yield increases of 45–70% are possible for most crops through improved nutrient management and increased use of irrigation.
Valuation of natural capital awarded 2012 Volvo Environment Prize Featuring Gretchen Daily
Press release - AB Volvo - September 9th, 2012
Featuring Gretchen Daily
Gretchen Daily, professor at Stanford University in California and one of the world's foremost experts on the valuation of natural capital is awarded the 2012 Volvo Environment Prize. She is convinced that the only way to create long-term welfare is to quantify the value of ecosystems.
China Leads March for Green Economy Featuring Gretchen Daily and Peter Kareiva
New Scientist - by Sara Reardon - June 16, 2012
Featuring Gretchen Daily and Peter Kareiva
When appeals to an environmental conscience cannot motivate governments to conserve their natural resources, a swift kick in the wallet may. That's the idea behind a strategy expected to be discussed at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next week. Gaining traction are projects to quantify the value of "services" provided to us by oceans, forests and other ecosystems, determine the economic hit to a nation once they run out, and then paying would-be consumers to conserve those assets. And, with characteristic pragmatism, China is leading the experiment.
Acounting for Nature's Benefits: The Dollar Value of Ecosystem Services
Environmental Health Perspectives - by David C. Holtzman - April, 2012. Featuring NatCap, InVEST, as well as Gretchen Daily, Peter Kareiva, Taylor Ricketts, and Emily McKenzie of the Natural Capital Project.
Healthy ecosystems provide us with fertile soil, clean water, timber, and food. They reduce the spread of diseases. The protect against flooding. World-wide, they regulate atmospheric concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide. They moderate climate. Without these and other "ecosystem services" we'd all perish.
Myth-busting scientist pushes greens past reliance on 'horror stories'
Greenwire - by Paul Voosen - April 3, 2012
Featuring Peter Kareiva, one of the founders and Directors of the Natural Capital Project
Peter Kareiva had come to answer for his truths.
Settling at the head of a long table ringed by young researchers new to the policy world, Kareiva, chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy, the world's largest environmental organization, cracked open a beer. After a long day mentoring at the group's headquarters, an eight-story box nestled in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, he was ready for some sparring.
The scientists had read Kareiva's recent essay, which takes environmentalists to task. The data couldn't bear out their piety, he wrote. Nature is often resilient, not fragile. There is no wilderness unspoiled by man. Thoreau was a townie. Conservation, by many measures, is failing. If it is to survive, it has to change.
OnEarth - by Bruce Barcott - March 21, 2012
Featuring Mary Ruckelshaus, Managing Director of the Natural Capital Project
Environmental policy is something of a family business for Mary Ruckelshaus. Her father, the attorney William Ruckelshaus, became the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, when she was in fourth grade, and returned for a second term in the mid-1980s. "We had a lot of great dinner table discussions," she recalls, but her own interest was in science more than legal policy. A Ph.D. in biology led her to Seattle, where she worked on salmon and orca recovery for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2010 she became managing director of the Natural Capital Project, an environmental think tank based at Stanford University. Advancing ideas developed by co-founder Gretchen Daily in her groundbreaking books Nature's Services and The New Economy of Nature, the project's team of biologists, economists, data analysts, and legal scholars collaborates with governments and NGOs to fairly value ecosystem services
Belize move to finalize integrated coastal zone management plan
Amandala - by Adele Trapp - January 20th, 2012
Featuring NatCap's Marine InVEST software
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) is working on an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for Belize, which spans 9 zones, and it hopes to complete the plan by March 2012. It wants the public to be involved in another wave of consultations and is extending an invitation for the public to attend a series of community meetings before the plan is finally taken to Government for final vetting.
Redeeming Sins of Omission: Accounting for People in MitigationPress Release - February 16th, 2013
Billions of dollars are spent every year on development projects such as mines, energy plants and transportation systems. While most countries require mitigation to offset environmental degradation that results, none requires an explicit accounting of people in these efforts. Scientists at the Natural Capital Project (NatCap), led by Lead Scientist Heather Tallis, have developed a new approach to mitigation and habitat restoration that identifies winners and losers – people who would lose ecosystem services and those who would gain them in these circumstances.
Ecosystem Services in Action: Lessons learned from 20+ engagements around the worldPress Release - February 16th, 2013
Ecosystem services, the benefits people get from nature, sustain and fulfill human life. Many have suggested that an explicit focus on ecosystem services can lead to management choices with better outcomes for people and the ecosystems on which they depend. But compelling evidence of the science of modeling, mapping, and valuing ecosystem services informing real decisions has, to date, been scarce. Dr. Guerry presented that evidence today, in a symposium session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), by showcasing how the Natural Capital Project's use of ecosystem service approaches and tools have been used to inform decisions in diverse contexts worldwide. These contexts include spatial planning, payment for ecosystem services, climate adaptation planning, permitting and mitigation, restoration planning, and corporate risk management.
Open-source software can help find the right space for offshore wind turbinesPress Release - February 15th, 2013
A Stanford economist pitches open-source software for evaluating potential offshore wind turbine sites for optimal energy production and minimal disruption of other marine industry.
Stanford ecologist uses social media data to gauge recreational value of coastal areasPress Release - February 15th, 2013
A Stanford ecologist advocates using social media data to determine the recreational value of coastal ecosystems in order to better direct conservation efforts and funds.
Emerging Consensus Shows Climate Change Already Having Major Effects on Ecosystems and SpeciesPress Release - December 18th, 2012
1 Plant and animal species are shifting their geographic ranges and the timing of their life events – such as flowering, laying eggs or migrating – at faster rates than researchers documented just a few years ago, according to a technical report on biodiversity and ecosystems used as scientific input for the 2013 Third National Climate Assessment. The report, Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services, synthesizes the scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting ecosystems, ecosystem services and the diversity of species, as well as what strategies might be used by natural resource practitioners to decrease current and future risks. More than 60 federal, academic and other scientists, including the lead authors from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Wildlife Federation and Arizona State University in Tempe, authored the assessment.
A Global System to Monitor Nature's Benefits to SocietyPress Release - November 16th, 2012
A new paper appearing in the November issue of Bioscience presents a way to monitor ecosystem services on a global scale. The conceptual framework they suggest to do this was envisioned by the GEO BON Ecosystem Services Working Group and designed to integrate national statistics, numerical models, remote sensing, and in situ measurements to regularly track changes in ecosystem services across the globe. Although this may sound overly ambitious, the paper outlines an achievable approach that would fill the pulse-taking role well. Entitled "A Global System for Monitoring Ecosystem Change," the paper was led by Heather Tallis, Lead Scientist at the Natural Capital Project. Its authors present a tangible plan to coordinate, standardize, and broaden access to existing databases that track and monitor the delivery of ecosystem services. Their work contributes to the worldwide effort of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), to improve the availability of information on the global environment.
Green economy approach shows hope for Borneo amidst floundering Rio+20 talksPress Release - June 21, 2012
The Heart of Borneo (HoB): Investing in Nature for a Green Economy Report is a practical regional guide on how future economic growth can be achieved while protecting the values of ecosystems and biodiversity of the Heart of Borneo - a 220,000km2 treasure trove of unique and often endangered animal and plants species, on the world's third biggest island.
Countries should implement inclusive wealth accountingPress Release - June 17, 2012
A report released today provides a path forward on how countries can implement inclusive wealth accounting, and illustrates how it could be a better and more comprehensive indicator than GDP to assess the wealth of a country.
35 finance CEOs announce commitment on natural capital at Rio+20Press Release - June 15, 2012
Financial institutions have for the first time ever committed to integrating natural capital into their business decisions with the unveiling of the 'Natural Capital Declaration' (NCD) at the Rio+20 Summit, a move strongly supported by NatCap and our partner, WWF.
Audio & Video
What is Nature Worth?
The Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota
Marine Planning on the West Coast of Vancouver Island
West Coast Assessment - Introduction
Science and Ecosystem Services in Decision-Making
The Moore Foundation
To Avoid Disaster, Limit Population and Consumption
Rich countries must reduce consumption and the world must limit population to avoid catastrophe. That's the message of Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich. He tells host Steve Curwood that does not mean misery but more time for people and pleasure. (6:10), Director, Natural Capital Project.
Peter Kareiva, an Inconvenient Environmentalist
The New York Times, DotEarth - by Andrew Revkin - April 3, 2012
Featuring Peter Kareiva, one of the founders and Directors of the Natural Capital Project
I encourage you to watch the provocative and important lecture above by Peter Kareiva, the much-lauded chief scientist of the world's biggest environmental group, the Nature Conservancy. The title is "Failed Metaphors and A New Environmentalism for the 21st Century." It's a refreshing call for new approaches from a community stuck on what I've called a "woe is me, shame on you" tune for far too long.