New research estimates financial value of natural assets in Midlands – at least £330 billion

Date posted: November 11, 2021
A tree overhanging a lake with green grass all around

Latest research from the Midlands Engine Observatory estimates that our region’s air and 1,500km of rivers and canals, landscapes, forestry and minerals are worth at least £330 billion.

The figure announced today (11 November) at the Campaign for COP26 event in Nottingham, comes from the Observatory’s new Natural Capital Monitor which places – for the first time – a monetary value on our region’s natural assets.

Our natural environment provides incredible benefits to our region’s communities and businesses, including clean air, water, carbon capture and other necessities.

But, up to now, it has never been possible to assign a financial value to those advantages.

Drawing on work conducted by Midlands Engine partners, including the Environment Agency, Natural England, Woodland Trust and the National Trust, the Monitor includes a wide range of data sources to support our natural world.

It will be an invaluable resource for policymakers, enabling them to check on the health and geographical coverage of our natural sites such as forests and waterways, and to play a more active role in protecting them.

The Natural Capital Monitor is part of our Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine and has been created to support our partnership to measure our collective impact on nature’s recovery and our region’s blue-green places – two important action areas of the plan.

The Monitor also looks at the protected habitats across our region, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Parks.

Director of the Midlands Engine Observatory, Professor Delma Dwight said:

By identifying and capturing the diversity of assets of places via a comprehensive evidence base across our region, we can establish the full impact and value of our natural environment – along with the total value of all the benefits or services provided to a place by its natural capital.

The Observatory is an alliance of leading academic researchers, and economic and industry experts, working together to deliver the regionally focused research and analysis for every part of the Midlands.

For the latest from our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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