The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity

date: 2008-05-01


European Commission, DG Environment

Natural ecosystems supply valuable goods and services to society. Examples are carbon storage in forests and the supply of sufficient amounts of clean freshwater. Loss of natural ecosystems and their biodiversity presents therefore also a loss of valuable goods and services.

The study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) was initiated to analyse the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the costs of failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation.

TEEB was endorsed by the G8+5 leaders in June 2007. Findings from the first phase of TEEB were presented at the high-level segment of the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany, in May 2008.

GLOBIO contribution

As a contribution to TEEB, a consortium of reknowned European institutes conducted the study Cost of Policy Inaction for Biodiversity (COPI Biodiversity). In COPI GLOBIO was applied to calculate expected biodiversity impacts of a ‘business as usual’ scenario. Consortium partners calculated the impact of the losses on the potential of ecosystems to deliver goods and services, and consequently the economic value.

The scenario analysis shows that biodiversity loss is likely to continue over the coming decades, especially in savannah and steppe, but also in tropical and boreal forests. By 2050, the remaining biodiversity will be mainly located in deserts, the polar regions and boreal forests of Russia and Canada.