Healthy ecosystems are, by definition, about biodiversity. This is the key indicator for the health of the natural capital stocks we share – the quality of land, water, minerals, soil and species. In turn, healthy ecosystems support the flow of ecosystem services on which our economies and societies depend. These include supporting services, such as nutrient cycling and crop pollination; provisioning services, such as food and water production; regulating services, such as the control of disease and climate; and cultural services, including spiritual and recreational values.
Biodiversity and ecosystem services are often overlooked when decision-makers allocate land and water resources to economic and other activities. As humanity places increasing pressure on an unstable set of complex, interdependent systems, we need accurate information on how biodiversity and ecosystem services will change with human action. In effect, we must demonstrate the relevance of biodiversity in achieving social, economic and other environmental goals.
This programme builds research around the core principle of internalising the value of nature in public and private sector decision-making. Our goal is to develop knowledge and products that better define, value and incorporate natural capital into decisions concerning poverty reduction, economic development and the conservation of biodiversity.