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Measurement of Natural Capital in academic journals

MOJ Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Lorena L Furtado, Luiz Panhoca

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This article is based on the existing literature on the concept, categories, and natural variables of capital and aims to discuss natural capital, offering some points of view on the emerging rationality of specialized literature. In a preliminary stage, a systematic analysis and cumulative review were used to identify and select the variables to measure natural capital and, in this stage, 1856 articles were selected. The surveys were captured and the variables on the environmental resources used in the research were analyzed with the result of the reading concentrated on the variables. A content analysis was carried out to check the reading, consisted of (i) pre-analysis, (ii) analytical description and (iii) inferential interpretation, verification of the frequency of words per article. The concept of natural capital is necessary and acceptable, but it is not easy to understand it categorically or measure its value. It is an interdisciplinary issue and some schools of thinkers could be noticed. The messages about ecological characteristics are limited to the field of study mainly of qualitative water analysis. It was also possible to identify contents that conceptualize the Natural Capital based on sources of energy and agriculture. There is a search for indicators as ways to measure the environment that give rise the variables to Natural Capital to meet mainly the needs of the economy. The article highlights the probable performativity of the concept and, ultimately, how it can impact us and incorporates the discussion of Natural Capital in the accounting headings. This article is a cautionary note for those who use the concept of natural capital and offers considerations using examples in the literature. Based on the existing literature, the originality lies in the discussion that natural capital is not a neutral term and its framing is likely to have broader implications.


content analysis, economic rationality point, interdisciplinary research, natural capital