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TEEB report released on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity for policy makers

aims to counter this while also generating financial flows from North to South.

REDD and REDD+, which includes not only maintaining forests but planting and recovering forest systems, secured the backing of close 15 presidents and prime ministers at a special meeting hosted last month by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Paying developing countries under REDD marks a fundamental step forward in terms of bringing the huge financial importance of ecosystems and biodiversity into the centre of economic activity."

"It could open the door to more creative and forward looking funds and mechanisms covering other nature-based infrastructure such as peatlands and wetlands en route to support for the services generated by coastal and marine ecosystems such as coral reefs to mangroves," he said.

The report has a number of key recommendations for policy makers to consider:

  1. Invest in ecological infrastructure: This can provide cost-effective opportunities to increase resilience to climate change, reduce risk from natural hazards, improve food and water security, and contribute to poverty alleviation. Up-front investments in maintenance and conservation are almost always cheaper than trying to restore damaged ecosystems, and the social benefits that flow from restoration can be several times higher than the costs. Preliminary TEEB estimates suggest that the potential rates of return can reach 40% for mangrove and woodlands/shrublands, 50% for tropical forests and 79% for grasslands when the multiple ecosystems services are taken into account.

  2. Reward benefits through payments and markets: Payments for ecosystem services (PES schemes) from local (e.g. water provisioning) to global (the REDD-Plus proposal for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, as well as from afforestation, reforestation, and effective conservation).

  3. Reform

Contact: Tilo Arnhold
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

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TEEB report released on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity for policy makers
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