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But you did show that you value the Earth, its ecosystems, and the ability of those systems to give people food, shelter, recreation and so much more.
Nat Cap’s mission — indeed the concept of natural capital more generally — is, unfortunately, often terribly misunderstood.
I’ve read many an essay and endured public talks that characterize natural capital work as some kind of dangerous effort to reduce all of nature into a dollar amount that can then be sold off to the highest bidder or otherwise used and abused. The words “natural capital” seem to suggest, to the skeptical, that we’re reducing nature to a puppet of capitalism.
I’d like to share with you what I think about when I go to work every day to promote the natural capital approach to protecting nature. Natural capital is about headwaters, springs, sources, mothers, fathers, children, ancestors, descendants, generations, caretaking, heritage, gifts, trusts and endowments. The goal of the natural capital concept is to give voice to things that are otherwise silent and invisible.
Natural capital thinking seeks to shine a light on the benefits nature provides to people and use that understanding to guide decisions that affect Earth’s lands, waters and biodiversity.