How Much are our Natural Assets Worth?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the value of its natural wealth has nearly doubled in the decade, rising from $3 trillion in 2006 to $5.8 trillion in 2015.

This is the first time that the ABS has compiled environmental and economic indicators. The data showcases the relationship citizens have with natural assets such as minerals, forests, farmland and water.  It helps explain how the assets are improved or eroded by the economy.

The graph shows how even though economic activity rose, water use declined. By examining the graph one can also see that waste is a big problem.


australia infographic

“Greenhouse gases rose over the decade, as did energy use, but not as sharply as economic activity. [University of Adelaide professor Mike] Young said this showed worsening climate change was not an inevitable result of prosperity.”

It is important to chart the value of our natural resources and see how we are using them. For many, it may seem that there is an abundance of resources but the reality is that climate change is effecting them and decreasing the amount of many. By taking the time to state how valuable natural assets are to us then maybe we could start caring for them more and become savvy in the way we use them.

What do you think, should more countries take the initiative to evaluate the value of its natural resources? Do you believe it will be eye-opening to see how countries compare in how much they are worth?

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