News release: "For many low-income countries, natural capital is a critical asset, making up nearly 36 percent of their total wealth. The poorest communities depend on oceans, forests, and soil productivity for their daily existence, and as they grow, the pressure on land and water is increasing, threatening ecosystems and livelihoods in countries with few resources to cope with the loss. Protecting these vital resources requires reliable data and measurement systems that can ensure they are taken into consideration during development decision making. The latest edition of the World Bank’s Little Green Data Book, released on May 17, provides part of that equation with comprehensive data on more than 200 countries’ natural capital, including agricultural land, forests, protected areas, and water resources — information that can help policymakers, communities and other stakeholders weigh the value of natural resources and their role in development. That information—paired with a natural capital accounting system of measuring national wealth—allows the value of such assets, as well as the costs and benefits of developing them over time, to be measured and factored into assessments of a country’s wealth and growth prospects."