Natural ecosystems and bioengineered hybrid solutions provide a variety of infrastructure services. These services include protection from flood and storm surges, water purification, water storage, irrigation, wastewater treatment, carbon storage and a reduction in energy consumption. In the context of green economy planning, natural ecosystems are also assets that directly increase revenues for several industries, such as pharmaceuticals, natural medicines, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and timber, among others.
SAVi simulates the financial value of such infrastructure services provided by natural ecosystems. We then use SAVi to compare these values to the cost of capital, capital expenditure and the operating expenditure of civil engineered assets that would be needed to produce outputs. SAVi valuations thus help us understand how natural assets save us money while simultaneously reducing our need to seek capital for building infrastructure in the future. As the international community is challenged to better manage both public and private debt, natural ecosystems are particularly important for yielding good value for money.
These SAVi valuations are appreciated by public budget holders and private landowners who spend money on managing and maintaining natural ecosystems. They are increasingly concerned about the escalating operating costs of natural assets and are therefore well served by valuations between natural and built assets, today and over the longer term.
We will also use SAVi to explore blended capital strategies for nature-based infrastructure.