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Cultural Capital and Natural Capital Interrelations

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Folke, Carl; Berkes, Fikret
Date: 1992
Agency: Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden
Series: Beijer Discussion Paper Series no. 8
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4109
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): sustainability
Abstract: "The importance of natural capital and the relationships between natural capital and human-made capital are of fundamental interest in ecological economics. But a consideration of these two kinds of capital alone fall short of providing the essential elements for the analysis of sustainability. A more complete conceptualization of the interdependency of the economy and the environment requires attention to social/cultural /political systems as well. We use the term cultural capital to refer to factors that provide human societies with the means and adaptations to deal with the natural environment. Cultural capital, as used here, includes factors such as social/political institutions, environmental ethics (world view) and traditional ecological knowledge in a society. The three types of capital are closely interrelated. Natural capital is the basis for cultural capital. Human-made capital is generated by an interaction between natural and cultural capital. Cultural capital will determine how a society uses natural capital to create human-made capital. Aspects of cultural capital, such as institutions involved in the governance of resource use and the environmental world view, are crucial for the potential of a society to develop sustainable relations with its natural environment."

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