Episode 18: How do we understand and quantify ‘natural capital’?

30 July 2021

What is ‘natural capital’? The term has become increasingly prevalent as we try to understand the value of the natural world around us, particularly as we grapple with the challenges of the climate crisis and try to live more sustainably.

But is it possible to robustly quantify natural capital? When we are dealing with such complex interrelationships, can we robustly assess the effect and value of the ecosystem of which we’re part?

Three experts from across Eastern Arc join our Director Phil Ward to discuss these issues.

  • Andrew Lovett is a Professor of Geography, School of Environmental Sciences at UEA. He has been involved in a range of projects working with geographical information systems (GIS), landscape visualisation software and statistical techniques. At present he’s looking at issues of rural land-use change, natural capital and ecosystem services, future energy pathways and catchment management.
  • Alex Dumbrell is a professor of Environmental Microbiology and Bioinformatic at the University of Essex. He haas wide and diverse interests, including Biodiversity-Ecosystem service/function relationships, Macroecology, Ecoinformatics, Soil biodiversity and function
  • Rob Fish is Reader in Human Ecology at Kent. He has research interests in the social and cultural dimensions of natural resource management, and has a particular specialism in the study of rural and agricultural systems.

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Photo by pine watt on Unsplash

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