Natural partners: Why nature conservation and natural capital approaches should work together



25 January, 2016


Nature conservation has been the traditional approach to managing pressures on the UK’s natural environment. It has had some notable success but has not reversed the long term trends of ecosystem decline, habitat and species loss.

New thinking has emerged over the last ten years based on the idea of natural capital. This provides an economic case for nature protection based on valuing the benefits society receives from natural assets such as soil, water and biodiversity.

These two approaches are often set in opposition to one another. In this report we argue that, as we breach environmental limits and reach tipping points for habitat loss, water cycles, nutrient enrichment and carbon emissions, the government should adopt a strategic combination of both approaches.


Sue Armstrong Brown
William Andrews Tipper
Nicola Wheeler



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