NatureScot Commissioned Report 751: A systematic evaluation of Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index
This report evaluates the methodology behind Scotland’s Natural Capital Asset Index (NCAI). ‘Natural capital’ extends the economic concept of capital to environmental goods and services; it uses a metaphor of the environment as a stock of natural capital, which yields a flow of valuable ecosystem services. These services include everything from crops and water, to flood protection and pollination, as well as opportunities for recreation.
The first NCAI was published in 2011 and has been updated on an annual basis. The NCAI suggests that Scotland’s overall stock of natural capital declined between 1950 and the 1980s, but has stabilised over the past 25 years. Future threats include non-native species and climate change. This report proposes refinements to the NCAI, and NatureScot will work with the government, other public agencies and academia to publish an improved version in 2015. This will assist our work towards the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity.
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