Natural Capital in a Nordic context

Status and Challenges in the Decade of Biodiversity

image of Natural Capital in a Nordic context

The report reviews different international approaches for natural capital accounting. The five approaches reviewed are attempts to help create an improved evidence base on the links between biodiversity and ecosystems on the one hand and economic and human wellbeing on the other in view of better informing decision-making in a variety of contexts. The strengths and weaknesses of the approaches are evaluated in the light of the policy goals, institutions and conditions in the Nordic countries. The analysis has been carried out during the period September 2012 – January 2013 by Gaia Consulting Oy and the Institute of European Environmental Policy. The project was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers.




To address the root causes of environmental problems, their drivers and pressures need to be identified and understood. Climate change, pollution of air, water and soil, depletion of natural resources, overfishing, habitat destruction due to infrastructure development and introduction of alien species are some of the pressures on the environment which the Nordic countries face. In addition, as natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce, assessing the contribution of natural capital to the economy in a systematic and integrated way appears increasingly important. Both these agendas require a careful monitoring of the interlinkages between the economy and the environment.


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