UNEP | Management of natural assets is key to sustainable development: Inclusive wealth provides the way forward

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Sovereign nations typically measure economic success in terms of GDP (income) but this approach is risky as it fails to track and measure the impact of this on nature. Inclusive wealth, on the other hand captures financial and produced capital, but also the skills in our workforce (human capital), the cohesion in our society (social capital) and the value of our environment (natural capital).

The concept of inclusive wealth takes into account the social worth of manufactured, human and natural capital which, in turn, is the source of a country’s GDP. Inclusive wealth measurement is critically important.  Generations transfer this “wealth” (thus defined), not income, to the next generation. Handing over to future generations a healthy planet with little pollution and vibrant ecosystems is a prerequisite for sustainable development.

Inclusive wealth, therefore, underscores the essential role biodiversity and ecosystems play in the provision of many of the services we receive from nature, and on which our economies, livelihoods and well-being rely.

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