Natural capital refers to all of the parts of nature that we rely on because it produces value or provides benefits to people; this might be direct such as the food we eat or indirect like the regulation of our climate. Damage to these natural capital assets could not only impact ecological functioning, but also our economy that relies on them, and our cultural or societal well-being.
The recent Hampshire 2050 Commission of Inquiry identified that Hampshire’s natural environment is a significant and valued asset. To inform understanding of Hampshire’s natural environment, it prepared a report providing a high-level ‘snapshot’ of many key elements of Hampshire’s natural environment. The report has a base date of January 2020 and has been produced with input from partners and stakeholders.
In March 2019, Portsmouth University was commissioned by the Environment Agency to provide a strategic update of the natural capital value of habitats and species in the context of water quality for the Solent and Isle of Wight area. The overall aim was to provide evidence to help value the changes in the level of ecosystem service that could result from changes in the quality of benthic habitats as a result of increasing or reducing nutrients.