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Natural capital in practice: How to include its value in Dutch decision-making processes


  • Ruijs, Arjan
  • van Egmond, Petra


Scientific and policy attention for natural capital and ecosystem services have grown fast during the last decade. As a result, awareness on the value of the stock of natural capital and the flow of ecosystem services it provides increased. Decision-makers from governments, business and nature organisations nowadays have much better insights into the opportunities its sustainable use provides, for themselves and for society. Yet, translating lessons from natural capital research to policy remains complex. In this paper, on the basis of the results of the two-year Natural Capital Netherlands programme, it is elaborated how, in practice, governments, businesses and nature organisations can include the value of natural capital in their decision-making processes. The planning and decision-making processes studied in this programme can be clustered into three domains: sustainable entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial nature management and area development. For each domain of decision-making, the approach to be followed differs somewhat and different policies should be developed to reach the situation in which it is mainstream to include the value of natural capital in decision-making. Moreover, it is shown that incorporating natural capital leads to innovation, with new market opportunities, new nature development and new collaborations between various parties as a result.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruijs, Arjan & van Egmond, Petra, 2017. "Natural capital in practice: How to include its value in Dutch decision-making processes," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 106-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:25:y:2017:i:c:p:106-116
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.03.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:14:y:2015:i:c:p:37-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Emily McKenzie & Stephen Posner & Patricia Tillmann & Joanna R Bernhardt & Kirsten Howard & Amy Rosenthal, 2014. "Understanding the use of ecosystem service knowledge in decision making: lessons from international experiences of spatial planning," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(2), pages 320-340, April.
    3. Emily McKenzie & Stephen Posner & Patricia Tillmann & Joanna R Bernhardt & Kirsten Howard & Amy Rosenthal, 2014. "Understanding the Use of Ecosystem Service Knowledge in Decision Making: Lessons from International Experiences of Spatial Planning," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 32(2), pages 320-340, April.
    4. Abson, D.J. & von Wehrden, H. & Baumgärtner, S. & Fischer, J. & Hanspach, J. & Härdtle, W. & Heinrichs, H. & Klein, A.M. & Lang, D.J. & Martens, P. & Walmsley, D., 2014. "Ecosystem services as a boundary object for sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 29-37.
    5. repec:eee:ecoser:v:18:y:2016:i:c:p:186-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:ecoser:v:16:y:2015:i:c:p:174-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lucy Wilson & Cristina Secades & Ulf Narloff & Nadine Bowles-Newark & Abisha Mapendembe & Hollie Booth & Claire Brown & Megan Tierney, 2014. "The Role of National Ecosystem Assessments in Influencing Policy Making," OECD Environment Working Papers 60, OECD Publishing.
    8. repec:eee:ecoser:v:18:y:2016:i:c:p:118-129 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:33:y:2018:i:pa:p:59-67 is not listed on IDEAS


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