Final TEEB Report Highlights Economic Value of World’s Natural Assets

19 October 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-based research consortium, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), has released its final report, "Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB."

Compiling and summarizing two years of work carried out by over 500 researchers, the TEEB synthesis report calls for wider recognition of nature's contribution to human livelihoods, health, security, and culture by decision makers. It documents the multi-trillion dollar annual contribution of the natural world to the global economy, and formulates recommendations for policies and mechanisms that can help better account for, and protect, this contribution.

The report approaches the challenge of bringing biodiversity to the political fore by focusing on making nature's values visible, and approaches this in three steps: recognizing ecosystems' value so as to understand what is at stake; demonstrating natural value in economic terms to support decision making; and capturing value by introducing mechanisms to incorporate this value into decision making at all political and non-political levels.

Among the ten main recommendations of the report are: public disclosure of, and accountability for, impacts on nature should be required outcomes of biodiversity assessments; current national accounting should be updated to include shifts in natural capital stocks and ecosystem service flows; creation of a universal system for forest stock and ecosystems services accounting is urgently needed for the creation of any forest carbon mechanisms or incentives such as the UN-REDD Programme; ecosystems conservation and restoration should be seen as viable investment options to support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts; and annual reports and accounts of businesses should disclose all major externalities affecting societies and changes in natural assets. The TEEB report was launched on the sidelines of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), taking place in Nagoya, Japan. [The Report][Press Release(download)][Powerpoint Summary][TEEB Homepage with access to other TEEB reports] [IISD RS ENBOTS coverage of the release]