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Environmental & Natural Resource Accounting

The natural world requires different standards of success and requirements for meeting goals than traditional businesses.  Companies usually focus on the financial aspects of its activities, especially profit.  Nature is about survival and coexistence.  Valuation is not necessarily the end product or gain, but the balance, continuation and evolution of its systems and citizens.  In Environmental and Natural Resource Accounting, a community, business or government would not just measure what is left to take of a resource, but figure out its own role in conserving it, who else relies on it, and the cost of losing it.  These aspects should be as important, if not more so, than how much shareholders earn.  If a business relies on a raw material to make its product, the supply of that one input will affect its ability to keep producing.  On a larger scale, if a community relies on a natural resource to keep living conditions safe and healthy, it should matter if that resource can continue to support those conditions.

Measuring, recording and tracking the value of what nature gives and does for human communities provides a way to understand and value the earth in dollars and cents.  By accounting for what the earth gives and does, people then have a basis for paying it back.

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