Our work supports the EU's objective of halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services by 2020. This includes assessing the costs and socio-economic benefits of conserving biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, and developing evidence-based polices that help implement and finance EU biodiversity conservation measures.
IEEP has extensive experience of biodiversity-related policy analysis in agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems and has pioneered measures to tackle invasive alien species and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity.
We primarily work on policy analysis and development projects for the European Commission, but also contribute to the biodiversity conservation work of national governments, NGOs and other international governmental organisations.
The EU has a relatively well-established biodiversity conservation policy framework, now formalised in the 2010 EU Biodiversity Strategy, at the heart of which are the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive, which have created the Natura 2000 network – the largest network of protected areas in the world. These Directives include legislative measures that require Member States to conserve and restore EU threatened habitats and species, both within Natura 2000 sites but also where necessary in the wider environment. The Biodiversity Strategy also includes targets that aim to restore ecosystems and their services, support the biodiversity conservation measures in agricultural, forest and marine ecosystems, address alien invasive species and reduce the EU’s external impacts on global biodiversity.
Despite this impressive framework ecosystems continue to be degraded and biodiversity is still being lost. This is due to slow, incomplete or inappropriate implementation, including weak enforcement, a lack of funding, and some important policy gaps.
A fundamental problem continues to be the undervaluation of biodiversity and its limited capture in economic systems. Therefore a key area of our work is demonstrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services to clearly show that biodiversity is worthy of protection, for its own sake and for its contribution to human well-being. This understanding is the basis for the development of policies that aim to support the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, for example through better regulations, cost-effective public funding (such as agri-environment schemes and other EU funds) and innovative market-based instruments (such as payments for ecosystem services and biodiversity offsets).
A new book by IEEP researchers offers a comprehensive introduction to the socio-economic benefits of protected areas and provides step-by-step guidance on identifying, assessing and valuing the various benefits they provide.
There is an urgent need to find sufficient resources to enable developing countries to implement the global targets for biodiversity by 2020. Financing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity from different sectoral funding flows can complement global biodiversity financing.
Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value and they also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland.
Investments in nature and green infrastructure have helped meet Cohesion Policy objectives and vice-versa. This new guide presents some examples, tools and approaches making it a useful toolkit for stakeholders implementing Cohesion Policy up to 2020.
This report considers how environmental policy in the EU effects the UK and looks at some alternatives. Overall the impact within the environmental domain can be judged to be strongly positive to the UK. The action taken has been well balanced, with benefits for human health and welfare and the sustainability of the economy as well as the environment itself.
A new book by IEEP researchers will be published on 15 August offering a comprehensive introduction to the socio-economic benefits of protected areas and providing step-by-step guidance on identifying, assessing and valuing the various benefits they provide.
Co-authored by IEEP staff, the Manual is for anyone who is considering or currently undertaking a TEEB country study. Its purpose is to provide guidance throughout the entire TCS cycle, from initiation to policy analysis and ecosystem service valuations, communicating findings, and using results to support decision making.
IEEP assessed the financing needs to implement Target 2 of the Biodiversity Strategy (target to maintain ecosystem services and restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020) with eftec. The report showed that a large increase in funding will be required if Target 2 is to be attained, but also that there are a range of potential funding sources that could be increasingly used.
This guidance document has been prepared to support practitioners of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to update their plans to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem service values. Six in depth country case studies provide common lessons of good practice.
IEEP has just produced a roadmap and guidance document to help practitioners to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem values into their NBSAPs. See case study examples and tune into the webinars on June 5 and 7.
How can we meet the different and often conflicting demands we make on our limited supply of rural land in Europe? A more strategic approach to the way in which land is used is needed than has been the case in the past. This report for DG Environment looks at the data, the challenges and the policy options for Europe.
New TEEB-inspired regional assessment (published on 31 January) shows that nature and its ecosystem services are of high socio-economic significance for the Nordic countries. In order to be truly sustainable, Nordic economic systems need to build on a more comprehensive appreciation and understanding of the value of natural capital.