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We agree that including the value of nature on balance sheets alone is not an end in itself. But having good information is the critical first step towards sustainable management of natural resources. Governments that want to ensure their policies match their social and environmental goals need the tool that natural capital accounting provides. Once armed with information like how much a mangrove contributes to fish breeding and how much a coral reef protects a coastline from storm surges, then countries are in a better position to decide whether to keep these natural assets intact or allow their destruction for commercial uses. The next step is to enact policies that ensure private gain does not come at the expense of social goals like people's livelihoods and access to clean air, clean water and all the benefits that nature provides.

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