The importance of assessing the true value of nature and biodiversity to the economy and to society is becoming increasingly recognised by citizens and policy makers. This, together with growing concern over the loss of biodiversity worldwide, has led the development of assessments aiming to recognise, demonstrate and capture the value of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for the purposes of decision making.
The benchmark study in this area is The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative. IEEP has been closely involved in this study from its early stages having led or partnered key supporting studies on the state of scientific knowledge on ecosystem services and the economic value of ecosystem services. IEEP coordinated the TEEB synthesis for National and International Policy Making, and authored sections on key issues including subsidy reform, biodiversity banking, biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators, and the value of protected areas.
We have also carried out several regional and national studies highlighting the value of biodiversity. These include, for example, assessments of the socio-economic value of ecosystem services in the Nordic countries (TEEB Nordic), Finland (TEEB for Finland) and the Arctic region. Furthermore, we have been involved in several studies looking at the costs and benefits of policy action on biodiversity, including costs of policy inaction or opportunity costs related to action.
Exploring socio-economic benefits of protected areas is a key focus of our work. We have been playing a leading role in the development of estimates for the costs and benefits of managing the EU Natura 2000 network, including increasing awareness on the benefits and finding effective ways of communicating these benefits to stakeholders at the local, national and European level. We have also developed dedicated guidance to practitioners on assessing social and economic benefits of protected areas.
Protecting nature and biodiversity is helping to tackle urgent health and social challenges across Europe. A new IEEP study shows how urban, suburban and rural green areas bring multiple and often overlooked benefits to society.
Wildlife crime threatens global biodiversity. The EU is both a destination and a transit region for illegally-traded products. A new study for the European Parliament summarises the situation in Europe and offers policy recommendations in view of the upcoming EU Action Plan. A set of in-depth case studies outline the situation in five EU countries.
Marine Protected Areas provide a range of benefits to human wellbeing, including providing food, mitigating climate change and creating opportunities for recreation and tourism. Further steps are needed to assess and communicate these benefits, this way supporting marine conservation both globally and in the EU.
Drawing on recent work by the Institute, IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink will present at Green Week 2015 on Jobs & Growth through Green Infrastructure (3 June 2015 - 16:30-18:00, Session 2.2) and on Health and Social Benefits of Nature and Biodiversity Protection (4 June 2015 - 09:30-11:00, Session 3.3).
The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has published a new book on protected area governance and management. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen played a key role in supporting the chapter on values and benefits of protected areas.
Finland joins the ranks of countries that have carried out a dedicated assessment of their ecosystem services. Like similar studies elsewhere, the assessment concludes that ecosystem services underpin the country’s social and economic well-being and should therefore form the basis of the transition to a green economy in Finland.
TEEB for Finland presents the results of a national assessment of the socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in Finland. It provides a review of the country’s most relevant ecosystem services while also considering opportunities and tools for their sustainable management.
A case study which looks into the extent to which the Eco-accounts in place in Baden-Württemberg in Germany are effective and consistent with the EU’s no-net-loss objective and international offsetting principles.
The landmark international forum on protected areas - IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) – will take place in in Sydney 12 – 19 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen will be attending the event, showcasing and drawing lessons from IEEP’s longstanding work on protected areas.