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Countries should implement inclusive wealth accounting
Date:6/18/2012

There is a shared recognition that conventional indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) are failing to capture the scope countries' wealth. Even in the global recession, many economies appear to be getting wealthier. However, economic development is often happening at the expense of natural capital what people want or need from nature. Despite significant advances in environmental protection over the past 25 years, humanity has failed to conserve resources, safeguard natural ecosystems or otherwise ensure its own long-term viability. The limitations in conventional economic indicators may be in part fueling unsustainable development because changes in natural assets and environmental services are not factored into national accounts, rendering those accounts less useful as indicators of changes in value.

To address these concerns, the UN University and UN Environment Program, in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, a joint partnership of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, released the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 (IWR) today at the Earth Summit 2012 (Rio+20). The IWR proposes an approach to sustainability based on measuring natural, manufactured, human and social forms of capital. It represents a crucial first step in transforming the global economic paradigm, by ensuring that we have the correct information to assess economic development and well-being and to reassess our needs and goals.

The IWR introduces an economic index that calculates the wealth of nations and provides a more comprehensive picture of a country's development and well-being than other macroeconomic indicators like GDP. The report provides policymakers with an initial analysis toward a broader and more comprehensive way of measuring progress by looking at the full suite of capital. This report is the first attempt to apply these metri
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Contact: Heather Tallis
htallis@stanford.edu
408-693-4555
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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