Much like the technological challenges associated with managing any complex and interconnected system, data about natural resources and ecosystems services is often unavailable or can be expensive to collect, aggregate, integrate and analyse . Robust data collection can involve remote sensing, conducting detailed surveys, modelling and analysis, often putting this kind of approach outside the reach of everyday businesses. A lack of good data governance and standards; inconsistent and incomplete datasets or a lack of measurement methodologies; and a lack of staff capacity within businesses to ensure robust data is developed and made available to decision makers are also key barriers to further adoption .
Overcoming barriers to adoption
The market for natural capital accounting is growing, and alongside the work of land agents and valuers, the methods and technology available to account for natural capital are becoming more and more advanced. The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre uses sophisticated mapping and modelling at the watershed, regional and national level. Typical analysis measures and models the impacts of different policy and economic approaches, and their varying impacts on ecosystem flows and biodiversity change. Analysis aims to identify the causes of change, mapping hotspots and priority areas for ecosystems services, as well as evaluating options and trade-offs .
Financial institutions are also moving to address these barriers. ‘Spatial finance’ is ‘the integration of geospatial data and analysis in financial theory and practice’ . Investors and asset managers are seeking to understand the way that location can affect exposure to the physical risks of nature loss and climate change. Alongside this, increasingly sophisticated geospatial, remote sensing and asset level data gathering relating to biodiversity  and ecosystems functioning is becoming cheaper and more readily available.
Land managers, valuation professionals, accountants, and lawyers, working alongside those engaged in ecological and environmental services will play an important role in making natural capital more visible, and its costs and value more practically applicable . The speed of this adoption will be underpinned by new technology and market mechanisms targeting spatial analysis, nature recovery and ecosystems services. Such policies, if well designed, are set to both affect and change the legal, economic and environmental landscape in the future .