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Natural Capital Project to develop conservation software
Date:12/1/2008

nstitute at Stanford, and Mary Ruckelshaus, a research biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle.

Earlier this year, the Natural Capital Project launched a beta version of InVEST for land-based resource planning that will serve as the technical framework for Marine InVEST. "We're now testing and refining InVEST for major resource decisions in landscapes around the worldin China, Colombia, Ecuador, Tanzania, California, Hawai'i and Oregon," Daily said. "There is tremendous demand for this tool and approach to guide strategic investment in natural capital. The time is ripe in both the business and policy arenas."

People tend to look at nature in one of two ways, added Michael Wright, managing director of the Natural Capital Project. "We either ignore the values it provides altogether, or we focus only on one specific commercial value, such as fisheries," he said. "We see individual pieces, not the whole. As a result, the collective value of nature is diminished. Through this grant we want to develop tools that do not just maximize the fisheries but capture all of the interests that depend on the oceans."

The goal of the Natural Capital Project is to illuminate the multiple values that nature contributes to human beings and turn that into knowledge that can be used by policymakers, Wright said. "We're well on the road terrestrially, and Marine InVEST really shifts our vision offshore to the open ocean and coastal areas," he said. "The willingness of the Moore Foundation to provide venture capital for the development of new tools, like Marine InVEST, based on cutting- edge science is really encouraging. The grant is a lovely combination of risk-taking with pragmatism."


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Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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