Natural Resource Protection
This indicator assesses a country government’s commitment to preserving biodiversity and natural habitats, responsibly managing ecosystems and fisheries, and engaging in sustainable agriculture.
Relationship to Growth & Poverty Reduction
Environmental protection of biomes and the biodiversity and ecosystems within those biomes supports long-term economic growth by providing essential ecosystem goods and services such as natural capital, fertile soil, climate regulation, clean air and water, renewable energy, and genetic diversity. 1 Additionally, appropriate and sustainable management of non-protected ecosystems and the natural resources within those ecosystems promotes agricultural and non-agricultural productivity. 2 Some research suggests that economic growth will be increasingly difficult to sustain as the current population compromises or decimates the biomes that provide the natural resources that are essential to future development or sustenance. 3 Those in poverty, particularly subsistence farmers and those in rural areas, are most likely to be exposed to and affected by environmental degradation and biodiversity loss because they rely so directly on ecosystem services for their food security and livelihood. 4
MCC uses four components of this indicator, which are focused on Biodiversity and Habitat, Ecosystem Services, Fisheries, and Agriculture. The Biodiversity and Habitat component measures the share of terrestrial and marine areas that are protected, as well as the protection of rare species and their habitats. The Ecosystem Services component measures annual loss of tree cover, wetlands, and grasslands. The Agriculture component measures the sustainable use of nitrogen and pesticides in farming. The Fisheries component measures the sustainability of fishing practices, including the share of fish caught from overfished populations, and the use of harmful fishing practices such as trawling.
MCC combines these four components using EPI’s weighting methodology. EPI assigns each component a specific weight. To compute the overall score, MCC multiplies the score for each component by the weight for that component, adds them together, and divides by the total weight. If a country is missing data for a particular indicator, the weight for that indicator is included in neither the numerator nor the denominator of the fraction. This is most common in landlocked countries which have no fisheries scores.
MCC’s Natural Resource Protection Indicator = [(Agriculture Score x Agriculture Weight) + (Fisheries Score x Fisheries Weight) + (Biodiversity and Habitat Score x Biodiversity and Habitat Weight) + (Ecosystem Services Score x Ecosystem Services Weight)] ÷ [Agriculture Weight + Fisheries Weight + Biodiversity and Habitat Weight + Ecosystem Services Weight]
For example, using the old data from the 2020 EPI, the weights for these components would be as follows: Agriculture: 0.05, Fisheries: 0.1, Ecosystem Services: 0.1, and Biodiversity and Habitat: 0.25. This means that a country with all four areas measured, such as Cameroon would have their score calculated as follows. Cameroon had the following component scores: Agriculture: 40.4, Fisheries: 10.5, Ecosystem Services: 31.5, and Biodiversity and Habitat: 48.6. The numerator for this calculation is the weighted sum of the four scores i.e. (40.4 x 0.05) + (10.5 x 0.1) + (31.5 x 0.1) + (48.6 x 0.25) = 18.37. The denominator is just the sum of the weights (0.05 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.25) = 0.5. Which means Cameroon would have scored 36.74 (18.37 ÷ 0.5). On the other hand, if Cameroon did not have fishing data for that year, fishing would not be included either in the numerator or the denominator making the score without fisheries data 43.3 (17.32 ÷ 0.4).
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) from the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP), and Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) (EPI YCELP/CIESIN)