Natural Capital Assessment of Singapore


In September 2017 we were awarded a $4.8 million project over 3 years to conduct a national-scale assessment of Singapore's Natural Capital (ecosystem services).

As a global leader in green urban development, Singapore has recognised that the quality of the natural environment is important to economic performance and livability. However, significant challenges exist in incorporating the environment into holistic, national-scale planning. While the economic benefits of urban development are simple to calculate, we lack comparable information for environmental assets (termed natural capital). Methods to assess natural capital at a national level have been developed for several temperate nations, but these are not readily applicable to tropical nations such as Singapore, where climatic conditions, ecosystems and national priorities are different.

The objectives of this project are to assess the current status and health of Singapore’s major ecosystems, and quantify their economic and societal value. This analysis will provide the first national-scale assessment of Singapore's natural capital, and the first assessment for a tropical, heavily urbanised country. The project will also predict potential future changes in natural capital, and identify trade-offs and synergies with future urban development. The assessment of future changes will be supported by the development of an interactive decision-support tool that will provide information on natural capital to decision-makers.

The project is led by Dan Friess (NUS Geography) and Adrienne Gret-Regamy (ETH Zurich) and involves PIs and collaborators from Singapore-ETH Centre, NUS, NTU, Singapore-MIT Alliance and the National Parks Board.

Natural Capital Singapore is kicking off in the first half on 2018. Stay tuned for updates.