Natural Capital Committee (NCC)

The Natural Capital Committee advises the government on natural capital, such as forests, rivers, minerals and oceans.

Role of the group

The Natural Capital Committee (NCC) is an independent advisory committee.

It provides advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital - that is, our natural assets including forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans.

The committee’s broad remit also covers the benefits we derive from natural assets, such as food, recreation, clean water, hazard protection and clean air.

The second term of the committee runs from 2016 to 2020. Professor Dieter Helm continues to chair the committee, which will focus primarily on helping the government develop its 25 year environment plan.

The committee’s initial term ran from 2012 to 2015.

Advice on government’s 25 Year Environment Plan

The Conservative Manifesto made a clear commitment to delivering a 25 Year Environment Plan. Secretary of State Michael Gove asked the Natural Capital Committee to advise on what the Plan should aim to achieve, focusing on those areas where improvements are most urgent and where the benefits are greatest; how it should seek to do so; and the necessary conditions for success.


On 20 June 2018 the Secretary of State announced that he has appointed two new members, Professors Melanie Austen and Christopher Collins, to the Natural Capital Committee.

The committee consists of 7 experts.

  • Professor Dieter Helm – Chairman
  • Professor Christopher Collins
  • Professor Colin Mayer
  • Professor Ian Bateman
  • Professor Kathy Willis
  • Professor Melanie Austen
  • Professor Paul Leinster

Natural Capital Committee members' biographies (PDF, 101KB, 2 pages)


The committee’s seventh annual report was published on 16 January 2020.

How to do it: a natural capital workbook (PDF, 2.14MB, 31 pages) is a practical guide aimed at anyone who wants to use natural capital approaches in making decisions about the natural environment. It is intended to support decision-makers, including planners, communities and landowners, but has particular relevance for place-based decisions.

Value lies at the heart of the natural capital concept, yet there are many different interpretations of what valuation means and how to apply valuation evidence in practical decision-making contexts. Natural Capital Valuation (PDF, 282KB, 10 pages) lays out the types of decisions for which natural capital values might be useful and some principles to guide the choice of approaches to valuation.

The committee’s other publications are available in this document collection. This includes recently published reports on:

Minutes of meetings

We aim to publish minutes as soon as possible after each meeting. Earlier minutes are available on the National Archives site.

Terms of Reference

Natural Capital Committee terms of reference (PDF, 85.7KB, 3 pages)

Contact details