Blue Natural Capital as a new asset class

18. April 2024, 16:00 Uhr - 17:00 Uhr

Eawag Dübendorf, room FC C20 & online

Prof Carlos M. Duarte, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

The seminar is open to the public. To join online, please contact for access details.


Natural Capital refers to the components of ecosystems, including species, communities or habitats, that support the functions delivering the ecosystems services upon which human well being depend.  Unfourtunately, human pressures have led to the depletion of about half of the blue natural capital of the oceans, approaching, in some cases 90% of loss.  Yet, society is increasingly reliant on oceans as a source of resources, under the emerging blue economy.  The depletion of blue natural capital has been aggravated by the extractive approach to the ocean resulting from the lack of legal ownership of ocean space and resources, rendering the ocean victim of the tragedy of the commons.  However, blue carbon has emerged as a new opportunity to rebalance the relationship between society and oceans, by, for the first time, being economically sound to invest in protecting ecosystems at risk as well as to restore damaged ones.  Blue carbon is, however, just an intermediary step toward recgonizing the value of natural capital as an asset.  Indeed, natural capital is the new real state.  Realizing this promise will undue a major damage of the economic basis for western societies and generate ocean-positive societies.