Tag Archives: Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Economics of ecosystems and biodiversity study available

Climate Issues UpdateThe Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity study (TEEB) is synthesizing information on the economics  of conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, attempting to do for Biodiversity what the Stern report has done for climate change.

The study is drawing on expertise from around the world to evaluate the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the associated decline in ecosystem services worldwide, and to compare them with the costs of effective conservation and sustainable use.  The intent of the study is to sharpen awareness of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services and facilitate the development of effective policy, as well as engaged business and citizen responses.

Their report for policy maker was released in Nov 2009, they write that it:

underlines the urgency of action, as well as the benefits and opportunities that will arise as a result of taking such action. The report shows that the cost of sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem services is lower than the cost of allowing biodiversity and ecosystem services to dwindle. It demonstrates how we can take into account the value of ecosystems and biodiversity in policy decisions and identify and support solutions, new instruments, and wider use of existing tool in order to pioneer a way forward. In so doing, the report addresses the needs of policy-makers and those in the policy-making process.

TEEB for Policy Makers Summary document

  1. The global biodiversity crisis and related policy challenge
  2. Framework and guiding principles for the policy response
  3. Strengthening indicators and accounting systems for natural capital
  4. Integrating ecosystem and biodiversity values into policy assessment
  5. Rewarding benefits through payments and markets
  6. Reforming subsidies
  7. Addressing losses through regulation and pricing
  8. Recognising the value of protected areas
  9. Investing in ecological infrastructure
  10. Responding to the value of nature

Losses from destruction of Nature dwarf losses from financial crisis

At the IUCN meeting in Barcelona, the BBC interviews Pavan Sukhdev leader of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity an EU project intending to provide an economic assessment of global ecosystem governance in much the same way that the Stern review did for climate governance:

The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

…The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.

…Speaking to BBC News on the fringes of the congress, study leader Pavan Sukhdev emphasised that the cost of natural decline dwarfs losses on the financial markets.

“It’s not only greater but it’s also continuous, it’s been happening every year, year after year,” he told BBC News.

“So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today’s rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year.”

…The first phase concluded in May when the team released its finding that forest decline could be costing about 7% of global GDP. The second phase will expand the scope to other natural systems.