The Natural Capital Index aims to measure the Natural Capital of a country. The Natural Capital of a country is the sum of the given physical environment and its climatic conditions, paired with the availability and intactness of natural resources and sufficient water.
Natural Capital can be divided into 5 key clusters:
- Water availability
- Agricultural fertility (domestic food security)
- Availability of natural resources
- Climate Change Risk Exposure
The Natural Capital of a country reflects its ability to sustain the livelihoods and health of the population, and the economy – now AND into the future. The Natural Capital Index is calculated based on 28 quantitative data indicators derived from reliable international organisations.
Key takeaways form the 2021 Natural Capital Index:
- The Natural Capital Index 2021 is topped by Laos
- Laos is followed by Colombia, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
- South American nations score high in Natural Capital – the combined result of sufficient water availability, humid and tropical climate, and the deposits of other natural resources
- Scandinavian countries, thanks to low population density, high forest coverage and the availability of water are all ranked in the top 20s – as is New Zealand.
- Canada is ranked 31, the US 39
- African countries in the tropical belt are ranked fairly high – including the 2 Congo, Gabon, and Cameroon
- The two most populated countries, China (134) and India (152) are both affected by a combination of arid climate, high population density and depletion levels, raising concerns over those countries’ ability to self-sustain their large populations in the long term.
The Natural Capital Index is part of the Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index