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.
This new IEEP-led report presents insights on the importance of wetlands in delivering ecosystem services that are needed to support human life, and also for people’s livelihoods and the world’s economies. The report shows that demonstrating and using the values of ecosystem services related to water and wetlands can lead to better informed, more cost-effective, and fairer decision- making.
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.
Investment in natural capital through the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems has a lot to offer for regional development. A new publication authored by IEEP provides guidance on integrating biodiversity into EU Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in 2014-2020.
The eyes of the world’s biodiversity community are on Hyderabad as Parties to the Convention tackle the pressing challenges faced in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including mobilising sufficient resources to translate the Plan into concrete action.
New TEEB study announced at Rio+20 to highlight how conservation and restoration of wetlands can benefit biodiversity and provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions in the context of a Green Economy.
This benefit Assessment Manual, originally for internal use, has been turned into a Benefit Assessment Manual for policy makers and experts for wider dissemination and provides an understanding of the methodologies applied for the country benefit assessments.
There are considerable benefits from taking immediate action to address the environmental problems facing Egypt, including in the area of air pollution, water quality and infrastructures and waste management, and safeguarding its natural heritage.
Investing in improving environmental standards in the ENPI South countries would offer huge benefits in terms of cost savings, improved security (food, water, energy and climate), and improved quality of life.
Investing in improving environmental standards in the ENPI East countries would offer huge benefits in terms of cost savings, improved security (food, water, energy and climate), and improved quality of life.
Helsinki, 12-14 October. European and North-American scientific and technological community agree on their message for Rio+20, emphasising role of natural capital in underpinning Green Economy and echoing key messages from TEEB.
A report on the benefits provided to society by Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in England and Wales was just published. The study, led by GHK with support from others including IEEP, examines the range of ecosystem services provided by the network of SSSIs and estimates the monetary value of protecting them.
The study demonstrates the value of ecosystems and biodiversity to the economy, society and individuals. It underlines the urgent need to transform our approach to natural capital, and demonstrates how we can practically take into account the value of ecosystems and biodiversity in policy decisions to promote the protection of our environment and contribute to a sustainable economy and to the wellbeing of societies.