What's the Key to Successful Sustainable Development Planning?
Mary Ruckelshaus presents The Natural Capital Project's work on a panel about natural capital and climate change, at the Inter-American Development Bank's annual meeting in The Bahamas. Click here to watch a recording.
Development banks are positioned to strongly influence how well our future societies thrive. Increasingly, multi-lateral institutions are engaging local people in planning the projects and programs they fund, ensuring development meets long-term needs, improves social equity, and makes communities more resilient to climate change.

These concerns were central themes at the Inter-American Development Bank's  annual meeting in The Bahamas , which I attended as a guest speaker last month, participating in a panel about using natural solutions to address sea-level rise, water stress, and other climate threats in development planning.

The importance of engaging local voices...

Safeguarding Livelihoods in the Galápagos


One of my recent and most favorite InVEST training workshops was in the Galapagos Islands, 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos is, of course, the archipelago famous for inspiring Darwin's theory of evolution with its many unique, and uniquely-adapted species. Its waters serve as a marine reserve, a whale sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as a popular fishing destination, both for locals and commercial industrial boats. On land, the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station brings scientists to the islands. The majority of the Galapagos are also designated as a national park, visited by 200,000 people a year. This means that the islands' 27,000 residents squeeze into the remaining 3 percent of non-park land. Many live in poverty and would like to see ways of generating more local revenue from tourism...

Photo credit: Gregg Verutes, NatCap

Why Should the Department of Defense Care About Ecosystem Services?

Lands managed by the government are subject to complicated and often conflicting rules and regulations.

Take for instance U.S. military bases, which encompass more than one percent of the nation's land area. To be useful in training exercises, these landscapes should approximate conditions of real-world battlefields. Tanks, artillery fire and explosives are all part of the everyday disturbance regime, even as land managers also work to comply with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and more.

Deciding how to manage land to achieve diverse goals and outcomes can be both difficult and costly. But a research project between The Natural Capital Project and the Department of Defense shows that an ecosystem services approach holds great promise for helping managers achieve multiple objectives on the land...

Photo credit: Airman Magazine, Flickr, Creative Commons license

InVEST is o ur flagship tool with 18 different models for mapping and valuing ecosystem services. Check out all our software at naturalcapitalproject.org/software
Announcing the 2017 Natural Capital Symposium
MARCH 20-23
Photo credit: volcan96, Flickr
Following the success of the 2016 Natural Capital Symposium, we are thrilled to announce that the 2017 Natural Capital Symposium will be taking place at Stanford University from March 20-23, 2017. Featuring keynote speakers Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund, and Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, this event will once again convene leaders in advancing the science and practice of incorporating nature's diverse values into decisions. Interactive sessions throughout the symposium will focus on five central themes: sustainable development planning, securing freshwater, fostering resilient coastal communities, developing sustainable cities, and creating standards for the private sector.  We will be sharing additional details about the 2017 event and opening a call for abstracts in mid-June. In the meantime, if you'd like to see more of what happened in 2016, please visit the 2016 event webpage .

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

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

by Marie Donahue, UMN Institute on the Environment, May 10, 2016

by Taya Banjac, Minnesota Daily, May 2, 2016

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   contact@naturalcapitalproject.org .