Gretchen Daily, professor at Stanford University in California and one of the world’s foremost experts on the valuation of natural capital has been awarded the 2012 Volvo Environment Prize. She is convinced that the only way to create long-term welfare is to quantify the value of ecosystems.
Gretchen Daily is one of the pioneers of quantifying and valuing natural capital. In 2002 she published her book The New Economy of Nature: the Quest to Make Conservation Profitable (written with Katherine Ellison). In 2006 she and others founded the Natural Capital Project, where Stanford University, together with the Worldwide Fund for Nature and The Nature Conservancy, develops methods for measuring the economic value of ecosystem services.
Professor Gretchen Daily is not only a prominent theoretician in her field, she is also in demand as adviser to projects across the world where efforts are being made to protect the biological productivity of land areas while at the same time enabling sustainable economic growth.
Across the world, interest in biological diversity and ecosystem services is rising, especially after the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya in 2010. The Nagoya Protocol obliges countries to protect nature areas and promote biological diversity. Gretchen Daily is Bing Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford University in California, and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, also at Stanford. She has published more than 200 scientific articles and also popular scientific papers.