The Netherlands

Country Project Overview Scope Contact Details
The Netherlands

TEEB Netherlands


Arjan Ruijs, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Petra van Egmond, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Joop van Bodegraven, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Project Description:

In 2011 The Netherlands initiated a TEEB program, coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, that aimed at showing the economic value of ecosystem services to government, business and civil society and at supporting the decision-making process for policy-making and large investment projects.

The following reports were published in 2014: (1) TEEB Green, Healthy and Productive; (2) TEEB for Business; (3) TEEB for Product Chains; (4) TEEB for Cities; (5) TEEB for Regional Area Development; and (6) TEEB for the Dutch Caribbean (Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius). In 2013 TEEB for Cities has presented a benefit-tool that illustrates the social and environmental benefits of green spaces in cities and the groups benefiting from it.

In 2014, a two-year follow-up TEEB program is set up by PBL (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency), initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, with the objective to test the applicability of the TEEB-approach within ongoing policy processes. Jointly with the different partners in these policy processes, solutions are investigated that are based more on the use of ecosystem service

In 2014, projects related to agriculture and water safety were chosen. In 2015, additional projects focus on the question how nature organisations can finance their activities differently and how the bio-based economy can benefit from ecosystem services. Moreover, several projects are set up jointly with business on the question how ecosystem services can play a stronger role in their investment and decision processes. For this, past projects are analysed in order to find factors that explain success or failure of particular policies and it is investigated to what extent current policies support or hinder a different use of ecosystem services. Barriers to take the necessary steps are identified and possible ways to overcome them are given.

In 2016 this programme was finished with the publication of the report ‘Natural Capital: recognizing its true value’. The results show that initiatives aimed at creating synergy between nature and economy lead to innovation. Smarter, more sustainable use of natural capital results in gains for society (increased benefits, in some cases decreased costs). However, there is still a long way to go. Front-runners among companies, organisations and governments often have to pioneer to find their way. Existing nature conservation regulations focus on protecting nature from overexploitation, leaving little room for experimentation with sustainable utilisation. There is a lack of knowledge on how to protect natural capital while at the same time capturing its economic and societal benefits – for example, through sustainable harvesting of resources or sustainable extraction of drinking water. In order to strengthen the connection between financial and natural capital the barriers identified above must be addressed. Only then will companies, nature organisations and citizens be able to expand on the opportunities for natural capital conservation and sustainable utilisation.

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Terrestrial, Fresh Water, Marine, Nature as well as Agricultural land

Implementers and Partners:
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PBL – Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Wageningen University and Research Centre, VU-IVM, KPMG,  Witteveen+Bos.


Governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses, therefore, are looking for ways to enjoy all that nature has to offer without depleting the earth’s riches. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency studied this in a two-year research programme involving a number of Dutch projects. PBL collaborated in seven projects, to explore the possible role of natural capital, and also analysed this role for a number of past projects.


teeb-nl_1The contribution of sustainable trade to the conservation of natural capital
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has conducted a study into the potential impact of certified sustainable production on natural capital and the related ecosystem goods and services. Forests are a well-known example of natural capital; they are valuable to society, among other things because they store large amounts of carbon.



TEEBland useTEEB Land Use Management
2014 – This study investigated the extent to which ecosystem services help to realize policy objectives for three areas in the Netherlands. For securing water safety in the IJsselmeer, for maintaining a marina in the Natura2000 area of Schiermonnikoog and for strengthening the rural characteristics in an urbanized area in the Rijk van Dommel en AA,  For a number of alternatives, ecosystem services are quantified and valued and their effects on social welfare are evaluated. The results show that an integral focus in spatial processes in which synergies with nature are exploited can lead to increased social welfare.

2014-02-14_130025What’s Bonaire’s Nature Worth? 2011-2012
2013 – By assigning economic values to the main ecosystem services of Bonaire, this research draws attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity and highlights the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. The study addresses the most relevant ecosystems and ecosystem services for Bonaire and applies a range of economic valuation and evaluation tools.

2014-02-14_133626 TEEB for Cities
2013 – TEEB City is about the economic importance of nature and water in and around the urban environment Research has shown that nature and water generate many benefits, for example in terms of health and housing satisfaction. TEEB City is intended to make those benefits visible, and where possible to translate them into clear financial terms.

2014-02-14_130447 Green, healthy and productive
2012 -The report , examines the potential costs and benefits of nature for our health, on the basis of two scientific studies. In addition to a case study on Amsterdam the report transposes the results to the Netherlands as a whole. What is remarkable about this study is that as well as identifying savings in healthcare costs, it also sees potential for savings in labour costs.

2014-02-14_131006TEEB for Business
2012 – There is a lot at stake for business. The conservation of freely available ecosystem services is essential to ensure the profitability of companies over the long term. The nine sectors studied in TEEB for Business show that there are actions that companies can take, and there are opportunities for companies that anticipate the growing pressure on biodiversity.

2014-02-14_135354TEEB for Regional case (Dutch)
2012 – Interim report