"The time for ignoring biodiversity and persisting with conventional thinking regarding wealth creation and development is over. We must get on to the path towards a green economy," he added.
Nature is crucial to prosperity and development
In TEEB's final report, "Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature", there are three scenarios: a natural ecosystem (forests), a human settlement (city), and a business sector (mining), to illustrate how the economic concepts and tools described in TEEB can help equip society with the means to incorporate the values of nature into decision-making at all levels.
With more than half of the human population now living in urban areas, cities have a crucial role to play in acknowledging the natural capital required to maintain and improve the well-being of their residents. Innovative economic instruments and policies are emerging that reward good practice. For example, the Japanese city of Nagoya (host to the COP-10 meeting), has implemented a new system of tradeable development rights whereby developers wishing to exceed existing limits on high-rise buildings can offset their impacts by buying and conserving areas of Japan's traditional agricultural landscape. Discounts on bank loans for buildings that receive a higher 'star rating' based on a green certification system designed by city authorities also create incentives for more green space within city projects.
An important finding of many studies reviewed by TEEB is the contribution of forests and other ecosystems to the livelihoods of poor rural households, and therefore the significant potential for conservation efforts to contribute to poverty reduction. It has been estimated that ecosystem services and other non-marketed natural goods account for 47 to 89 per cent of the
|Contact: Tilo Arnhold|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres