Responsible Consumption and Production

2020 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökçin özuyar, Tony Wall

Natural Capital and Ecological Ecosystem Services: Methods of Measuring Socio-economic Value of Nature

  • Aleksandra MachnikEmail author
Reference work entry


Natural capital (NC), in general terms, is an economic metaphor for the stock of physical and biological natural resources. According to the Natural Capital Forum (2018), it can be defined as the “world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things.” In other words, it is everything that gives people the “basic building blocks of society”: healthy soils to provide food, raw materials needed for buildings and clothes, fresh water to drink, and clean air to breathe (Definition of European Commission 2018).

Taking into consideration the character of NC components, which can be either nonrenewable or renewable, and their role in the existence of human beings, it is usually divided into two groups: critical (nonrenewable and non-replaceable, crucial for the human survival on Earth) and noncritical, which can sometimes be substituted by elements of human-made capital (Ekins et al. 2003; De Groot et al. 2003).


Natural capital...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economics and Space ManagementJan Amos Komeński State School of Higher Vocational EducationLesznoPoland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luciana Brandli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Passo FundoPasso FundoBrazil