The contribution of sustainable trade to the conservation of natural capital

M. van Oorschot, Carsten Wentink, Marcel Kok, P. Beukering, O. Kuik, M. van Drunen, J. van den Berg, V.J. Ingram, L.O. Judge, E.J.M.M. Arets, E.J. Veneklaas

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has conducted a study into the potential impact of certified sustainable production on natural capital and the related ecosystem goods and services. Forests are a well-known example of natural capital; they are valuable to society, among other things because they store large amounts of carbon. The performed cost-benefit analyses show that certified resource production has several societal benefits, such as reductions in environmental pollution, soil erosion and health damage. However, for resource producers, the financial returns of more sustainable production methods are often limited. The uneven distribution of costs and benefits over public and private actors forms a barrier to any further scale up of sustainable production. Thus, there is a need for additional solutions, besides certifying trade to help conserve ecosystems elsewhere in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherPBL: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Number of pages96
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePBL publication


  • certification
  • sustainability
  • cost benefit analysis
  • resource conservation
  • natural resources
  • tropics
  • ecosystem services
  • biobased economy


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