Co$tingNature – creating an accessible platform for a natural capital and ecosystem services valuation tool

Developed by a team from King’s College London, Co$tingNature is a spatial policy support tool for mapping nature's contributions to people, the risks of nature loss to people and the risks of human development activity to nature. REDAA is supporting refinement of the tool to make it more widely accessible to non-specialist users including policy makers. 

Rice terraces
Rice fields in the Papongpeang area of the Mae Chaem district, Thailand. Photo: David Gardiner, via Unsplash

Dates: To March 2023

Co$tingNature maps 18 ecosystem services, biodiversity, current human pressure and future threats to highlight areas of priority for conservation or development investment. The tool can assess the impacts of a range of development interventions on nature and on nature's contribution to people.  

Co$tingNature is widely used in over 180 countries and has been operating since 2007. In Bhutan, for example, it is used to support policymakers in estimating the potential for forest ecosystem services. 

The tool is global in scale, providing data at 10km resolution globally or at higher resolution locally. It has been used to estimate the contribution of nature to the sustainable development goals. 

Getting the tool to a wider audience 

Co$tingNature is a sophisticated tool and requires some level of geospatial capability, which limits its use by many investment decision makers, policymakers, civil society organisations and donors and more widely in research.  

REDAA is supporting the researchers leading Co$tingNature to develop an interactive web platform that is accessible to non-specialist users, complementing existing efforts under a NERC/Finance For Biodiversity funded Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) project. 

Risks table
Example of the data collected by the Co$tingNature tool

The platform will be open access and free to use. By making this data more widely useable, more decisions will be informed by environmental intelligence in the future. The National University in Costa Rica, alongside other policymaking actors, has expressed interest in using the updated web interface, for example, and it will have the potential to be used to support the nature proofing of development investments by donors.