Myanmar's natural capital maps are available online at 

Science Meets Art In Myanmar
A new WWF Myanmar  report and  website highlight how Myanmar's natural capital--including its forests, coastlines, waters, and biodiversity--sustains the country's economy and the well-being of its people.

When Myanmar held its first general elections in decades last November, WWF's Hanna Helsingen wasn't sure what to expect.

Before the polls opened at 6am she donned a longyi--Myanmar's version of a sari--and took a stroll through downtown Yangon.

"I saw this crazy guy coming down the street, waving a purple pinky in the air," she said. At first alarmed, she quickly realized he wasn't crazed, but ecstatic.

He had just come from a polling booth...

Dispatch From The Field: Mission To Nairobi


Editor's Note: So often in the NGO and academic sphere, we or our peers traipse halfway around the world for meetings, conferences, and summits. Once there we listen to a parade of accomplished, influential speakers and hope to learn a few things. But what is it that sinks into our memories?What is it that changes us? Often what we experience outside the meeting rooms is as powerful as what we hear inside.

2pm May 14, Seattle
My plane ticket to Kenya arrives in my inbox, courtesy of the UN Environment Program, only three days before I'm scheduled to fly out.  It turns out I really am going to the other side of the world for a two-day meeting, the UNEP Science-Policy Forum, where I've been invited to say something inspiring about natural capital. I know little of Nairobi other than that it's unsafe and choked with traffic.

10am May 17, Seattle
Wondering about the sanity of going so far to deliver one little inadequately prepared talk, before leaving the house I have one of Edgar Allen Poe's " imp of the perverse" moments and consider just leaving my suitcase by the door, and settling in at home to work for the day.

1pm May 18, Amsterdam
I'm surrounded by American missionaries full of excitement about the months they will spend in Kenya and neighboring countries and their belief in God's plan for them. I think about my own little mission--I too have some gospel to spread.

10pm May 18, Nairobi
After a 9-hour flight from Europe over the Sahara, we land in Nairobi...

China's Natural Capital Efforts Paying Off

This month Science
published the results of China's first national ecosystem assessment, showing how the country's massive investments are paying off in ways that will make people safer, by reducing the risk of natural disasters, improving water quality, and mitigating climate change.

China began investing billions to restore ecosystems, paying farming families to replant trees on steep slopes and other vulnerable areas, after a series of floods and landslides in the 1990s killed thousands of people.

" China has gone further than any other country," said Gretchen Daily in a Stanford News Service story featuring the research. "In the face of deepening environmental crisis, China has become very ambitious and innovative in its new conservation science and policies and has implemented them on a breathtaking scale."

Photo credit: XiXinXing/Shutterstock

InVEST is o ur flagship tool with 18 different models for mapping and valuing ecosystem services. Check out all our software at
Keynote Speakers Lining Up 
For 2017 Natural Capital Symposium
Interest in natural capital is flourishing, as is the role 
of the annual  Natural Capital Symposium
WWF's Carter Roberts 
Photo credit: Deb Lindsey/WWF-US
as a convening for innovators in this growing field.  

After 2016's successful gathering at Stanford University, leaders from two of the world's largest environmental organizations, and core NatCap partners--The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and WorldWildlife Fund (WWF)--have already marked their calendars to attend as keynote speakers in 2017.

"The Natural Capital Symposium is an enormously valuable convening of scientists from across the country working to transform the way the world approaches today's biggest challenges," said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of TNC, who will be returning in 2017 for the second year in a row. Tercek pushed 2016 attendees to provide more data-driven, actionable information during his keynote address, which he recapped in a  recent blog post. "Together," he said, "we're helping decision-makers see that protecting nature is the smartest investment they can make."

TNC's Mark Tercek
Photo credit: Dave Lauridsen
In 2017, WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts will also give a keynote address.
"Leaders in places like Myanmar, Mozambique, and the Arctic are seeking sound scientific guidance and tools to make decisions about their development options," Roberts said. "Bringing together scientists and policymakers at events like the Natural Capital Symposium increases the prospect that their questions will be answered in a way that protects the planet and provides benefits for all its inhabitants."

Both WWF and TNC have had strong showings of staff at the symposium, with WWF hosting international delegations from Southeast Asia and Africa, and TNC bringing in representatives of water funds across Latin America, for example.

For more information about the event, check out The Natural Capital Project's  webpage, with information about speakers, submitting posters and abstracts, and travel arrangements.

Recent Press & Publications

Vogl, Adrian L., P. James Dennedy-Frank, Stacie Wolny, Justin A. Johnson, Perrine Hamel, Urvashi Narain and Anil Vaidya
Environmental Sciences & Policy. 61: 221-229. July 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.03.004

Te-Ping Chen, The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2016

Bjorn Carey, Stanford News, June 16, 2016

Ouyang, Zhiyun, Hua Zheng, Yi Xiao, Stephen Polasky, Jianguo Liu, Weihua Xu, Qiao Wang, Lu Zhang, Yang Xiao, Enming Rao, Ling Jiang, Fei Lu, Xiaoke Wang, Guangbin Yang, Shihan Gong, Bingfang Wu, Yuan Zeng, Wu Yang and Gretchen C. Daily
Science 352: 1455-1459. June 17, 2016. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf2295

Kate Brauman, The Conversation, June 5, 2016

Brauman, Kate A.
Open Rivers: Rethinking The Mississippi. No. 2, Spring 2016.

Ma, Shan, Jennifer M. Duggan, Bradley A. Eichelberger, Brynn W. McNally, Jeffrey R. Foster, Eda Pepi, Marc N. Conte, Gretchen C. Daily and Guy Ziv
Ecosystem Services 19:6-18. June 2016. doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.03.005

For more news stories and publications, check out  Our Library . Access to full articles may require library access. 

Thank you for your continued interest in The Natural Capital Project. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at .