New initiatives are emerging that help countries evaluate their natural capital through new recognition systems. To do this they must account for “natural” capital, such as services that nature provides to people – cotton, timber, etc – in addition to the invisible values such as carbon stocks and sustainability of water sources. Traditional methods of evaluating capital- such as GDP- do not take into consideration the economic losses that result when a country depletes its forests, for example. The effort is a purely economic one as economists begin to recognize that natural resource depletion will ultimately take away from the profitability of companies unless new systems of evaluation are in place.
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