January 21, 2013
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.
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.
A second look at 'Fewer, Richer, Greener: The End of the Population Explosion and the Future for Investors'
(01/14/2013) Fewer, Richer, Greener: The End of the Population Explosion and the Future for Investors (November/December 2012, Vol. 68, No. 6: 20–37), by Mr. Laurence B. Siegel provides us with a commentary of population explosion and green investment opportunities over the long-run.
From Intelligent to Smart Cities - a book review
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Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems - book review
(12/03/2012) Stuart K. Allison, PhD’s excellent book Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems clearly explains the current state of affairs regarding ecological restoration. He addresses key issues and challenges to ecosystem restoration science dogma. He questions how we define ecosystem restoration and against which baseline. Baselines are various and can be difficult to define on a species by species level.