Strategies for the maintenance of natural capital
Economic models cannot give us the information society needs to define the set of possible future scenarios facing the world. Thus "optimal" economic plans are susceptible to being overwhelmed by feedbacks of which humans are ignorant as economic systems increasingly stress ecosystems. These concerns have lead to a call for the maintenance of a fixed natural capital stock as a safe minimum standard. This paper analyzes the reasoning behind defining a class of inputs to production as natural capital. Two motivations are shown to be important justifications for the new class of capital: ecological criticality and non-human intrinsic values. We argue that these justifications require the maintenance of resources which are excluded from exploitation, but that the free market system cannot achieve this goal due to a basic assumption of trade-offs being derived from utilitarianism and the basis of constraints in economic value. Three methods which have been suggested for the protection of natural capital are reviewed; namely: compensating projects, cost-benefit analysis, and scientifically designated limits. Each of these approaches is shown to be inadequate at addressing the concerns which have led to the concept of natural capital. A, fourth, more interdisciplinary and inclusive approach is necessary and a type of systems analysis, employing Sustainability Assessment Maps, is put forward as a method which could fill that gap. This is a paper from the Ecological Economics discussion paper series edited by Clive L. Spash and run from Stirling University from 1994 to 1996. This particular paper was later published as (Spash and Clayton 1997). Spash, C.L. & A.M.H. Clayton. 1997. The maintenance of natural capital: Motivations and methods. In Space, Place and Environmental Ethics, eds. A. Light & J.M. Smith, 143-173. Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Berkes, Fikret & Folke, Carl, 1992. "A systems perspective on the interrelations between natural, human-made and cultural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-8, March.
- Thomas H. Stevens & Jaime Echeverria & Ronald J. Glass & Tim Hager & Thomas A. More, 1991. "Measuring the Existence Value of Wildlife: What Do CVM Estimates Really Show?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 390-400.
- Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, Nick, 1995.
"Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation,"
Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 191-208, March.
- Nick Hanley & Clive L Spash, 1993. "Preferences, Information and Biodiversity Preservation," Working Papers Series 93/12, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
- Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, N, 1994. "Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation," MPRA Paper 38351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Hartwick, 1976.
"Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources,"
220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
- Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
- Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
- William D. Nordhaus, 1982.
"How Fast Should We Graze the Global Commons?,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
615, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Alistair Munro & Nick Hanley, 1991. "Shadow Projects and the Stock of Natural Capital: A Cautionary Note," Working Papers Series 91/8, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38273. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.