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Improving acceptance of natural capital accounting in land use decision making: Barriers and opportunities
Ecological Economics  (IF6.536),  Pub Date : 2022-06-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107510
Aysha Fleming, Anthony P. O'Grady, Cara Stitzlein, Sue Ogilvy, Daniel Mendham, Matthew T. Harrison

Environmental issues are becoming more urgent. Biodiversity loss, climate change, extreme events and global pressures on resources place increasing importance on decision making about how natural resources should be managed. Natural capital accounting (NCA) is gaining popularity as a systematic approach to recognise the full value of natural resources such as soil, vegetation, animals, water, and biodiversity. To understand perceptions and opportunities for awareness and behaviour change relating to the use of NCA, we conducted a discourse analysis of 57 interviews with stakeholders across Australia. Our aim is to promote discussion and reflection about perceptions of natural resources as forms of capital, and the role of NCA to underpin management practice change and support sustainability. We identify four key areas of contestation that relate to values, complexity, digital technology, and the desired future vision of NCA in society. Findings include conflicting views around whether NCA should have a diversity of tailored approaches or a consistent approach for all and that digital technology has and will continue to shape the way NCA is conducted. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to take a discourse analysis approach to perceptions of natural capital accounting.