In Australia, natural resource management (NRM) is key to making sure that our vast lands are managed wisely and sustainably.
People working in natural resource management do an amazing job of looking after our land, water, soil, plants and animals. This includes people from catchment management authorities, regional NRM groups, water authorities, farming groups, First Nations communities, forestry, conservation groups and Landcare groups to name a few.
One way of framing the vital role they play is to consider these people as managers of natural capital who work on our behalf to ensure that natural capital is protected and maintained.
There’s a lot of talk about natural capital approaches and the potential for people working in NRM to use natural capital accounting as a tool to support their work. But it can be challenging to understand what it all means and, importantly, what an organisation can actually do to get started in the emerging discipline of natural capital accounting.
To address this challenge, NRM Regions Australia has been working with IDEEA Group on the development of a simple, clear process to help NRM organisations understand why natural capital approaches are relevant in different geographical contexts and how they can develop and apply natural capital accounting.
Called the ‘Natural Capital Roadmap’, this straightforward process helps organisations produce a natural capital plan for the next 3 to 5 years.
Implementing natural capital accounting requires the combination of various methods and data sources. The roadmap process does not advocate for one particular accounting method or data source, instead, it is designed to help each organisation (or groups of organisations) establish their readiness for natural capital accounting and describe the options available to them for moving forward. The roadmap process also helps to explain what natural capital accounting is to a range of stakeholders and to assess where an organisation is on their natural capital journey.