The Natural Capital Initiative (NCI) is a leading UK forum bringing together scientists, policy-makers, business, industry and others, to discuss how the ecosystem approach might be implemented in practice. The NCI achieves this through organising workshops, debates and seminars, and communicating the findings through reports, briefing notes and direct engagement.
Aims & objective
The Natural Capital Initiative aims to support the development of UK science, policy and practice aligned with the ecosystem approach; a way of looking whole ecosystems in decision making and for valuing the goods and services they provide.
The Natural Capital Initiative is
- Providing an independent and inclusive forum for debate
- Identifying gaps in science, policy and its implementation and facilitating the debate about how to address these gaps
- Liaising with, and informing, key government, research council and other initiatives, and
- Engaging the public and inspiring the next generation.
Major work themes
- Valuing ecosystem services
- Ecosystem services and human health
- Social capital and natural capital interactions
The NCI is a partnership between the Society of Biology, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the British Ecological Society and the James Hutton Institute. The NCI Secretariat, comprising representatives from the partners, is guided by a Steering Group of experts in environmental science, health and economics.
The Initiative was launched in 2009 with the Symposium “Valuing Our Life Support Systems”, which brought together 250 representatives from business, academia, non-profit and public organisations to discuss challenges and opportunities for implementing the ecosystem approach. The Symposium was attended by key figures from government, academia and industry including the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, the Chief Executives of the RSPB and Natural England, senior figures from Tesco, Water UK, Centrica and Eurostar, and from health and social sciences.