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Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) (China)

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Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) is an index, modeled after Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that provides a clear signal of the value of nature's contribution to human wellbeing. It has been developed and piloted from city to national scales in China, and has been officially adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission as part of the UN-SEEA system of ecosystem accounting. Project partners: NatCap Stanford, NatCap University of Minnesota, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Funding: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Stanford gift funds.

The Challenge

Economic development, commonly measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), can often come at the expense of natural capital assets, depleting the flow of ecosystem service benefits to people and economies. GEP offers a way to account for the host of benefits provided by ecosystems in an index reported alongside GDP. GEP has been piloted in China from city to national scales, and is driving innovations in policy and investments.

The Solution

NatCap is working with our partners at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to develop scientifically rigorous GEP measures for use in pilots around the country. NatCap is initiating work to pilot GEP applications in countries outside of China, helping elevate its value as an 'attractor' in thinking about transformation in social, political, and environmental policies. Thus far in China, several  InVEST models have been used to calculate the aggregate GEP score: sediment delivery ratio (SDR) and monthly water yield models. A number of InVEST models are amenable for use in calculation of GEP in new pilots around the world.


Project Category: Sustainable Development Planning Sustainable, Livable Cities 
Project Status:  Current



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