The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy - a book review

By: Gabriel Thoumi, CFA
January 21, 2013



The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy, edited by Heidi Wittmar and Haripriya Gundimeda, provides thoughtful and actionable approaches to integrate nature’s benefits into decision-making frameworks for local and regional policy and public management institutions. Filled with numerous case studies, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy, delivers a compendium of concepts and ideas. These case studies focus on steps that can be implemented by institutions resulting in ensuring economic growth and human well-being while improving environmental stability.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an international multi-year initiative for the United Nations Environment Program. TEEB highlights the costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. It then communicates effective actionable mitigation approaches within contexts easily understood and implemented by communities, businesses, and governments.

To put our Earth’s ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in context, it is estimated that annual US dollar losses to our global economy from ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss are in the range of US $7 trillion annually, or about 10% global GDP annually.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy’s key operational message is: "We need to adjust our thinking to include the full-range of available options to mitigate ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in a manner that communicates effectively to a wide audience. We have the tools today to impact the change we need today through working together across disciplines, cultures, socio-economic class, and points-of-view."

And we can summarize The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy’s key strategic messages, based on actual on-the-ground case studies, as the following:
  • Sound environmental policy results in sensible and sustainable long-term economic policy and effective social policy.
  • Institutions need to focused on a balanced land-use policy that focuses on risk mitigation and return enhancement.
  • Statistics rarely account accurately for ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss.
  • Engaging and then empowering local institutions is critical to achieving desired outcomes.
  • Costs and benefits from degraded ecosystems and biodiversity loss are felt unevenly though society.
  • Ecosystem services perspective provides a platform for effective collaboration across disciplines, cultures, socio-economic class, and points-of-view.
  • We need to understand the complex systems impacts of less visible ecosystem services, such as pollinators and soil microbes, on our desired outcomes.
  • Monetary valuation of ecosystem services needs to be approached conservatively with an in-depth understanding of sources of data, calculation methodologies, and various approaches.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy offers us a comprehensive framework of how to positively impact ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss at the local and regional level. With numerous case studies along with explanations of how to deliver similar results on your greenfield or brownfield project site, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy is an invaluable how-to guide demonstrating how to implement sustainability initiatives at the local and regional levels.

How to order free:

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy
Publisher: Earthscan from Routledge
Editors: Heidi Wittmar and Haripriya Gundimeda




Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, LEED AP, is a natural resource scientist and financial consultant.













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CITATION:
By: Gabriel Thoumi, CFA (January 21, 2013).

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Local and Regional Policy - a book review.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0121-thoumi-economics-biodiversity.html