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TEEB report released on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policymakers

Brussels, 13 November 2009 - Policy-makers who factor the planet's multi-trillion dollar ecosystem services into their national and international investment strategies are likely to see far higher rates of return and stronger economic growth in the 21st century, a new report issued today says.

Some countries have already made the link to a limited extent and are glimpsing benefits in terms of jobs, livelihoods and economic returns that outstrip those wedded to older economic models of the previous century.

  • In Venezuela, investment in the national protected area system is preventing sedimentation that otherwise could reduce farm earnings by around US$3.5 million a year (Pabon-Zamora et al.2008).
  • Planting and protecting nearly 12,000 hectares of mangroves in Vietnam costs just over US$1 million but saved annual expenditures on dyke maintenance of well over US$7 million (Tallis et al. 2008).
  • One in 40 jobs in Europe are now linked with the environment and ecosystem services ranging from clean tech 'eco-industries' to organic agriculture, sustainable forestry and eco-tourism.
  • Investment in the protection of Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve is generating an annual of income of close to US$50 million a year, has generated 7,000 jobs and boosted local family incomes (CBD 2008).

The new report, prepared by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), calls on policy-makers to accelerate, scale-up and embed investments in the management and restoration of ecosystems.

It also calls for more sophisticated cost benefit analysis before policy-decisions are made. The report cites a study on mangroves in south Thailand on the conversion of mangroves into shrimp farms.



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Further Resources

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)

TEEB for Policymakers: Executive Summary

UNEP: Green Economy Initiative

UNEP: Biodiversity

UNEP: Ecosystem Management

 

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