PERI
Research AreasEnvironmental and Energy EconomicsNatural Assets

Natural Assets Project

>> Crop Genetic Diversity
>> Environmental Justice

The Natural Assets Project examines the scope for reducing poverty through asset building in the form of natural capital. 

Natural assets include both environmental sources and sinks. "Sources" are stocks of natural raw materials, renewable and non-renewable, including forests, fisheries, soil, and minerals. "Sinks" are the capacities of environmental media such as air and water to absorb and decompose the wastes from production and consumption. A variety of ownership regimes -- private property, common property, state property, and open access -- govern natural assets. Like other types of assets, natural assets are unevenly distributed: in terms of de facto  rights as well as de jure  ownership, the poor have fewer natural assets. 

Building the natural asset base of the poor would enable them to capture the flows of income and non-income benefits provided by these assets, helping to reduce poverty. Pro-poor natural asset building strategies could also advance two further social goals: environmental protection, which aims to safeguard the rights of current and future generations as a whole to a healthy environment; and environmental justice, which aims to ensure that this right is enjoyed equally by all.

>> Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice and Ecological Restoration

 >> Environment for the People 

>> Natural Assets: Democratizing Environmental Ownership            

>> Building Natural Assets: 
 New Strategies for Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection

 
 >> The New Environmental Activists:
Fighting Pollution, Poverty, and Racism by Building Natural Assets (pdf)
 

>> Charles C. Mann, Diversity on the Farm: How Traditional Crops Around the World Help to Feed Us All, and Why We Should Reward the People Who Grow Them 
 
 

The Natural Assets Project is supported by the Ford Foundation.