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Natural Capital Guide for The Development Sector

The Environment Agency uses a natural capital approach to deliver more benefits for people and wildlife – creating climate resilient places, thriving wildlife, improving people’s health and wellbeing and supporting a sustainable economy.
The economy depends on natural capital and the ecosystem services that flow from it:
  • Directly through provisioning and regulatory services
  • Directly through employment in tourism and the green economy
  • Indirectly through productivity gains, such as the positive impact of green space on people’s health and wellbeing[1]
  • Indirectly through the avoidance of future costs to growth that may be caused by degraded natural capital, either through lost resources or increases risk from potential hazards such as flooding.
The Environment Agency, with the support of Defra and Natural England, have produced a Natural Capital Guide for the Development Sector. The simple signposting guide is for local organisations with an interest in natural capital, economic development and prosperity such as local authorities, combined authorities, local enterprise and local nature partnerships. It is designed to complement and support more detailed guides such as Enabling a Natural Capital Approach guidance - GOV.UK ( and Natural Capital Evidence Handbook: to support place-based planning and decision-making - NERR092 (