Accurate accounting is essential for sound decision-making by the public, policymakers, and investors. High-quality accounting standards are also essential to the efficient functioning of our capital markets. Currently, accounting standards do not address natural assets such as watersheds, aquifers, or other green infrastructure, even though these can often be among an agency’s most important assets. Earth Economics prepared this report for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and their Advisory Council (GASAC), proposing a sequence of steps the GASB can take to address natural resources in accounting, ranging from clarifying existing accounting rules to developing new accounting rules.
This study presents an economic assessment of the impacts and benefits of implementing a national marine sanctuary around St. George Island, Alaska. Both market and non-market impacts were assessed using the benefit transfer method and data on local markets. This study finds that implementing a national marine sanctuary around St. George Island may have substantial benefits, including: at least four full-time jobs, $200,000 in annual government spending to support a sanctuary office, $140,000 to $1 million in expenditures due to research grants, $55,000 to $240,000 in annual recreation expenditures, $22,000 to $44,000 in estimated subsistence harvest annually, and $2.8 billion to $3.3 billion in annual non-market ecosystem service benefits.
This report presents an independent environmental and social benchmarking analysis of Nautilus Minerals’ proposed deep seabed mining project. The primary goal of the analysis was to measure the environmental and social impacts of the Solwara 1 project in comparison with three terrestrial mines.
This report highlights the Long Island Sound Basin’s natural capital and provides an update to the 1992 Altobello valuation study. Fourteen ecosystem services across nine land cover types were valued, and total ecosystem services flows within the Basin were found to reach at least $17 billion to $37 billion every year. This report also includes recommendations to fill key gaps in primary valuation studies for Long Island Sound and to conduct assessments on the return on investment.
This ecosystem services valuation was the first comprehensive economic analysis of the entire Colorado River Basin, a 249,000 square mile region spanning across mountains, plateaus, and low-lying valleys of the American Southwest. Colorado River Basin ecosystems provide a suite of ecosystem services that includes water supply, flood risk reduction, and recreation. The analysis highlighted the importance of engaging water utilities stakeholders, as the Basin's ecosystems provide between $56.5 billion and $466.5 billion in economic benefits every year.
This economic analysis estimates the value of the ecosystem services provided by natural assets in Pacific County’s nearshore environment. Pacific County’s nearshore ecosystems value at approximately $985 million to $4.4 billion dollars per year. Recommendations are offered for the preservation of ecosystems that contribute tangibly to the local economy. This report aims to support public and county decision-makers in understanding the economic context of project planning, policy choices and other requirements particular to shoreline ecosystems and critical areas throughout the county.
This first-ever regional economic valuation demonstrates how natural capital and its benefits directly support Santa Clara County’s economic health and overall well-being. Nature in Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley, provides benefits valued at $1.6 to $3.9 billion annually. These benefits include clean air, water supply and quality, reduced fire and flood risk, wildlife habitat, pollination, healthy food and recreation. The asset value of Santa Clara County’s natural capital is estimated between $162 and $386 billion.
This report identifies several funding mechanisms that generate revenue of approximately $3 million. These resources are needed, in addition to existing sources of funding, to fully implement watershed maintenance and natural asset improvement projects to meet restoration goals of the Nisqually Watershed Recovery Program by 2055.
This report presents a technical valuation of the damages from dumping accumulated dam sediments in the Anchicaya River on Colombia's Pacific Coast. The unplanned discharge of more than 500,000 cubic meters of sludge in 2001 resulted in shocks to vulnerable ecosystems, severe damage to fish and shellfish, and harm to water supply, crops, and riverine and coastal mangroves. Earth Economics partnered with Fundacion Neotropica to conduct an economic valuation of the damages, emphasizing ecosystem connectivity and both market and non-market environmental impacts.
This report provides effective alternatives to the current financial model and policy framework that drive investment decisions in real estate. These alternatives will help shift limited investment capital towards a restorative built environment by integrating social and environment benefits into investment models, appraiser methodologies, and supporting policies.