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The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity- TEEB
Date:5/29/2008

ren (50 years hence) at one-seventh the benefit we derive from it, a difficult ethical standpoint to defend.

Incorporating the true value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into policy decisions is the ultimate aim of the work being carried out by Pavan Sukhdev and his team. There are ethical choices involved in particular between present and future generations and between people in different parts of the world.

What is the Economic Cost of the Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services?

Not all values of biodiversity can be measured in economic terms. To many people nature has an intrinsic value that is unrelated to its usefulness to humans. Besides, only part of the full range of benefits provided by biodiversity and ecosystems can be assessed due to current limitations in our understanding of ecological functions and in economic tools. Value estimates from case studies usually take into account only some of the benefits. Also data and valuation studies are not yet available for all types of ecosystems - for example marine ecosystems are less well covered than terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, it should be kept in mind that estimates of the economic value of biodiversity and ecosystem services are surrounded by many uncertainties and that they provide only lower bounds.

However, economic valuation is a fruitful approach to measure the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the quality of human life and better understand trade-offs between different possible uses of ecosystems. There is now a large amount of evidence on the market and non-market values placed by people on various benefits from biodiversity and ecosystems, and thus on the costs of their loss. The report presented today presents the results of a preliminary analysis of the costs of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services from forests. In the first years of the period 2000 to 2050, it is estimated that in the early years we are l
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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