Nature value: the evolution of this concept

Valor da natureza: a evolução desse conceito

More attention has been paid to environmental matters in recent years, mainly due to the current scenario of accentuated environmental degradation. The economic valuation of nature goods can contribute to the decision-making process in environment management, generating a more comprehensive informational base. This paper aims to present, in a historic perspective, the different concepts attributed to nature goods and were related to the current predominant perspectives of nature analyses. For this purpose, this paper presents the different concepts attributed to value since the pre-classical period, when nature were viewed as inert and passive providers of goods and services, this view legitimized nature's exploration without concern over the preservation and conservation of nature. The capacity of nature to absorb the impact of human action appears to be reaching its limit, considering the irreversibility, the irreproducibility and the possibility of collapse. The appropriate method for valuing natural resources is not known, but more important than the method is to respect and incorporate the particular characteristics of the nature goods into this process. These characteristics must be valuated in order to arrive at a more consistence approach to nature value and promote sustainability.

Valuation; nature goods; environmental analyses

Editora da Universidade Federal de Lavras Editora UFLA, Caixa Postal 3037, 37200-000 Lavras, MG-Brasil - Lavras - MG - Brazil