Natural capital refers to the services and biodiversity provided to people, the economy and businesses by our natural resources such as freshwater, vegetation, oceans and soils.
The ecosystem services provided by natural capital are essential to sustain thriving communities. These include; clean air created by photosynthesis, clean water filtered through healthy land, soils formed by functioning biological processes and pollination performed by insects.
Natural capital is vital for healthy food and fibre production from vegetation grown in healthy landscapes.
Natural capital can also encompass;
Food processors and consumers now recognise the value of produce from farms with good environmental practices and there are a increasing number who are purchasing from producers who grow and authenticate this produce. Meanwhile, markets are being developed by governments and the private sector to link private investors and land stewards to facilitate good biodiversity and natural capital outcomes.
As land managers and stewards, we can build natural capital by improving biodiversity in our own lands, and building the health, function, production, and prosperity of our farms through regenerative agriculture. This can be done with management methods and principles taught in our courses and programs.
Community involvement is also paramount to the process of natural capital in spreading the word and furthering the recognition and adoption of natural systems and regenerative approaches. This encourages respect for the wide range of land uses available, such as habitat, culture, farming, community, and wilderness.
Individuals, businesses and governments are now funding projects that restore and maintain biodiversity, soil health and the function of natural systems.
Often, corporations purchase environmental credits in one area to offset the effects of activities in another. Grazing and farming businesses co-contribute to these projects with cash or in-kind donations.
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