A conceptual framework based on accounting principles of stocks, flows, and investment can be applied to natural capital, social and cultural capital, human capital and financial and physical capitals. Development and application of this framework can help to reveal the environmental, social and economic impacts and interactions of prevailing land use (or other management) practices, and provide a way of assessing the effectiveness of different programmes for achieving desired management objectives.
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By organising and presenting existing biophysical, social and economic data, and applying acknowledged economic valuation methods in an accounting framework, we offer a tool to policy makers that incorporates values of select ecosystem assets and services that is consistent with official macroeconomic indicators and statistics. In producing a structured and familiar accounting based product, we envisage greater uptake and consideration of environmental data in the policy decision making process.