CAPITAL is a flagship project for the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The main themes of the Presidency are water, nature and people. CAPITAL addresses all three themes. Using the concept of natural capital and related accounting frameworks the project recognises the value of freshwater, groundwater and coastal ecosystems in the Arctic regions of the Nordic Countries.

Existing literature, like the previous reports by the Nordic Council of Ministers about the valuation of ecosystem services and natural capital accounting, provides the baseline for environmental-economic data. Monitoring data and hydrological modelling is used to develop physical accounts of water asset. This provides the basis for developing water quality and environmental impact accounts. Quantification of relationship between economic sectors and water quality is paramount for the development of valuation accounts. Augmented accounts consider both the market and non-market values. The concept of social capital is applied to understand how the value accounts can be supplemented with social values.

The work of CAPITAL includes:

  • Management and dissemination
  • Concepts and synthesis of existing knowledge on the economic value and socioeconomic importance of arctic freshwaters
  • Development of physical water and externality accounts
  • Regional general equilibrium modelling
  • Development of augmented accounts