Natural Capital

Natural capital is similar to other types of capital which can produce economic outputs.

Natural capital includes the stocks of living and natural resources on a farm or property including vegetation, soil and soil biology, water, native fauna, livestock, crops, pastures, riparian areas and biodiversity corridors.

Each of these components of natural capital can be managed by landholders and it also includes the natural capital imported and exported from the farm such as plant and animal products, fertilisers, food and fibre and water runoff.

Natural capital provides a range of benefits and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, habitat for beneficial insects, fodder for livestock, groundcover, shelter, erosion reduction and reduction of greenhouse gases.

We have compiled a range of resources for you to learn more about natural capital and how to enhance the natural capital on your property.

Source: Integrated Futures
The importance of Natural Capital

The natural capital of a farm provides a range of ecosystem services that can support crop and livestock production. Natural capital can improve nutrient cycling and composting functions, vegetation providing shade, shelter, fodder, and forage for livestock, as well as habitat for beneficial insects and birds, regulation of soil and water quality and other services that support efficiency, profitability, and business resilience – which all benefit farm businesses

Other natural capital assets which are good for public benefit include habitat for wildlife and conserving biodiversity, storing, and sequestering carbon, as well as protection of waterways from leaching and soil erosion.

Natural capital accounting (NCA) can support farm management decisions, negotiations with supply chains, farm finance and ecosystem service market access (carbon or biodiversity projects). 

Useful Resources:


Conserving the biodiversity currently existing on your property is an important aspect of managing your natural capital. Farms contain much of the remnant vegetation across the country and these patches of remnant vegetation provide much needed habitat for endangered animal and plant species. 

Management actions you can take to conserve your natural capital include:

  • Conserving remnant natural vegetation, including isolated paddock trees. 
  • Fencing remnant vegetation and farm dams (avoid using barbed wire as this can injure wildlife). 
  • Keeping fallen timber and dead trees for habitat


Useful links/resources for conserving Natural Capital:


In addition to conserving the existing natural capital on your property, there are a number of actions you can take to improve or enhance natural capital as well.

Management actions you can take to improve your natural capital include:

  • Revegetation
  • Establishing native shelterbelts
  • Connecting remnant vegetation patches
  • Encouraging pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Installing artificial nestboxes
  • Installing an artificial floating island on your farm dam
  • Reduced or no-till
  • Using legumes in crop rotations


Useful links/resources for improving Natural Capital:


RegenWA and Perth NRM have successfully completed 35 on-farm natural capital assessments through Farming for the Future and Integrated Futures research projects which included –

  • In-field collection of data, farmer interviews and farm advisor negotiation;
  • Data collected included soil collection (Visual Soil Assessment only), ecological attributes including ground cover species, ground cover percentage, height of sward, natural assets, remnant vegetation, riparian vegetation etc;
  • Collecting paddock management history;
  • Mapping and data imputation; and
  • Report collation (in collaboration with Integrated Futures)
You can read more about this project here.

RegenWA team members are accredited Accounting for Nature General Experts. Please get in touch if you are interested in completing an account for your property.

The team have also conducted numerous presentations to farmers and industry to highlight the benefits on-farm natural capital has to production and the environment.

These are currently the options for on-farm natural capital accounting assessments –


Useful links/resources for assessing Natural Capital:


Join our community

RegenWA welcomes anyone with an interest in regenerative and sustainable agriculture to join our community. Members get bi-monthly newsletters with updates about what's happening in the regenerative agriculture space.