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Natural Assets (Nonuse Values)

Natural assets are the various forms of wealth originating within the natural world. Land, water, the atmosphere, animals, and plants are all examples of natural assets. Natural assets can have both a use value and a nonuse value. The nonuse value of natural assets lies in their intrinsic value apart from any instrumental use as a mere means to other human ends. If, for instance, the Everglades were to be obliterated, this would be understood as a loss not simply because tourism would falter but because something of intrinsic value would have been lost. Tourism would represent one use value of the Everglades, but the Everglades also has a nonuse value, an intrinsic value. Recognizing the intrinsic value of natural assets is crucial to the ...

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