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Publication Detail
A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Ekins P, Simon S, Deutsch L, Folke C, De Groot R
  • Publisher:
    ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
  • Publication date:
    03/2003
  • Pagination:
    165, 185
  • Journal:
    ECOL ECON
  • Volume:
    44
  • Issue:
    2-3
  • Print ISSN:
    0921-8009
  • Language:
    EN
  • Keywords:
    critical natural capital, environmental functions, environmental sustainability, sustainability gap, ECOSYSTEMS
  • Addresses:
    Policy Studies Inst
    London
    NW1 3SR
    England

    Open Univ
    Ctr Complex & Change
    Milton Keynes
    MK7 6AA
    Bucks
    England

    Maastricht Univ
    Int Ctr Integrat Studies
    Maastricht
    Netherlands

    Univ Wageningen & Res Ctr
    Dept Environm Sci
    Environm Syst Anal Grp
    NL-6700
    Wageningen
    Netherlands

    Royal Swedish Acad Sci
    Beijer Int Inst Ecol Econ
    S-10405
    Stockholm
    Sweden

    Stockholm Univ
    Dept Syst Ecol
    S-10691
    Stockholm
    Sweden
Abstract
This paper develops a methodology for identifying that natural capital-called critical natural capital (CNC)-the maintenance of which is essential for environmental sustainability. By consideration of the characteristics of natural capital, of the environmental functions that these characteristics enable natural capital to perform and of the importance of these functions to humans and the biosphere, it shows how sustainability standards in respect of these environmental functions may be derived. The difference between the current situation and these standards is termed the sustainability gap. The methodology that emerges from bringing these ideas together into a single analytical framework enables policy makers to identify the extent of current unsustainability, the principal causes of it, the elements and processes of natural capital (the CNC) which need to be maintained or restored to close the sustainability gap and the costs of so doing. The framework should therefore be of use in identifying priorities and policies for moving towards environmental sustainability. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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