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Nature + Satellites + Innovation = Natural Capital Accounting…

Preserving Nature has a key role for human existence on Earth and satellites have a crucial role on the financial evaluation of its resources:

Earsc: Nature valued from Space

Satellites show how we can promote economic development in an environmentally sustainable manner by putting a price on nature’s resources. Located on the Indonesian island of Lombok, the Mount Rinjani National Park is an important ecosystem for numerous endangered plants and animals. Just outside the park’s boundaries, the fertile soils are exploited for agriculture and much of the forest has been cleared away for farmland. These farms are of great importance to the local economy, but deforestation has gravely affected water availability over the last decade. While the farms may contribute to an economic profit, the troubles experienced by upstream communities – and the island as a whole – likely cause a deficit. In many cases, a natural ecosystem’s economic value outweighs the potential economic gain by destroying it. How? In the Lombok example, the forest provides water security and filtration, is a natural carbon store, protects against soil erosion and has the potential for ecotourism.  Putting a price on these features is one way to find out if keeping the forest is more profitable than destroying it for farming.

 Mount Rinjani 1

More importantly, satellites create digital elevation models and maps for supporting multiple valuations:

Using Satellites To Create Digital Elevation Models Of Mount Rinjani – RedOrbit

Satellites are being used to create digital elevation models of Mount Rinjani, as well as land use and land cover maps to support hydrological calculations and classify forests. Estimates of forest volume and density help to calculate carbon sequestration. These efforts help in assessing the value of Lombok’s forest resource. This concept of ‘natural capital accounting’ – also known as Ecosystems Service Assessments – can also be applied to wetlands, deserts, rangelands, grasslands and coastal areas. All of our natural reserves provide valuable assets to society in terms of measurable and accountable services. ESA is already a world leader in environmental monitoring through numerous programmes and initiatives in climate variability and risk assessments, coastal monitoring, global wetlands monitoring, mapping of biodiversity, assessments of renewable energies, water management and certification of sustainable forest management.

Mount Rinjani in Indonesia, has an important role in the scientific effort to properly evaluate the resources of Nature:

Mount Rinjani, Little Heaven on Earth | Just a walker..

God created this universe to be enjoyed, protected, and preserved by humans. One of the great ‘landscape painting’ is towering mountains. As we know, Indonesia is located at the meeting point of several tectonic plates. That makes Indonesia rich in volcanoes and is known as the Ring of Fire. Mount Rinjani is one of them. Mount Rinjani is located in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara. This is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, at the height of up to 3,726 meters. Administratively, it is located in the three districts, namely East Lombok, Central Lombok and West Lombok. Since 1997, our government established this Mount Rinjani National Park area. Because of the amazing and beautiful natural scenery, Rinjani is not only admired by local climbers, but also foreign climbers. Overseas tourists who come to Indonesia, especially those who loves extreme activities like climbing, definitely they don’t miss this mountain. In fact, at any given moment, the number of foreign climbers could be much more than the local climbers.  Don’t worry, there are several transportation alternatives for getting here. If you are low-budget backpacker, you can travel overland by bus or train (if you from Java), then cross to the Bali Island and Lombok by ferry. This is the alternative route if you have much time and want to more relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the Lombok Island. Definitely exciting! Or, you can hunting for cheap flight to Bali flight, then cross to Lombok. Or you also directly go to the Lombok International Airport which started operation since 2011. It will more effectively. Believe me, how much the cost that you spend, it will be comparable to what will you see later.

Natural Capital Accounting frames the theoretical concept of the whole process and scientific effort:

Sustainability: Natural Capital Accounting @ blog

Few companies today account in their financial statements for the value of natural capital — resources such as clean water, tillable soil, breathable air and other resources that are often taken for granted or assumed to be free. But if those costs were tallied globally, the liability would be considerably more than $1 trillion, according to a new index included in the sixth annual State of Green Business report published on Tuesday. Total natural capital costs related to U.S. firms are approximately $351.6 billion. ”If there is one thing to take away here, it is that if companies had to pay the real cost of natural capital, it would eat significantly into profits,” said Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, in a recent GreenBiz webcast discussing the findings. The report, produced in collaboration with research firm Trucost, includes perhaps one of the most comprehensive indices of natural capital impacts compiled to date. It combines company-disclosed data from more than 4,000 businesses worldwide with external factors such as emissions or water usage to calculate the environmental impact relative to financial performance. The index poses the question: “If a company actually had to pay for its impacts on natural capital, what would it cost and how would that affect the company’s profitability?” Here’s the answer: Total environmental costs as a percent of revenue are an average of 3.66 percent for U.S. companies and 3.76 percent for global firm. If you look at the bottom line, however, the results are far more concerning: For U.S. companies, environmental costs are about 41 percent of net income, compared with 52 percent for the global firms used for the research. ”If you had to actually pay for air pollution or pay for water as it relates to its scarcity, it would have a very significant impact,” said Richard Mattison, Trucost CEO, during the GreenBiz webcast.

Finally, satellites has proved their usefulness, once again! Nature wants careful management and human respect.

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