In March 2007, at the meeting of G8+5 Environment Ministers in Potsdam, Germany, the German Government proposed a global study to analyze the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation. A list of the main studies contracted by the European Commission and the German Ministry for the Environment for “Phase I” of the TEEB project are available here.

The results of this study named “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (TEEB) were presented in an Interim Report at a High-Level Segment of the Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-9) in Bonn, Germany in May 2008.

The TEEB Interim Report laid a broad foundation where evidence and examples of valuation were collated, elements of a biodiversity/ecosystem valuation framework identified, and long standing issues such as ethics in making choices regarding future values were re-emphasized.

TEEB Study Reports

The launch of the Interim Report stimulated further interest in the TEEB initiative and led to calls for additional economic analysis and the production of a series of reports focused for specific stakeholders. The TEEB initiative responded to the call for additional analysis by producing, in its “Phase II”, the following key reports:

The TEEB Study reports were launched on the occasion of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-10) in Nagoya, Japan. The four main volumes were also published by Routledge.

  • In addition, a website was developed to reach citizens and encourage viral spread of TEEB ideas and concepts.

In 2009, a TEEB Climate Issues Update was published to show how climate change and biodiversity are inextricably linked and how investments in the restoration and conservation of our planet’s ecosystems, valued at several trillion dollars, can play a major role in combating climate change.

Ongoing TEEB work

As part of the TEEB Implementation phase (“Phase III”), a number of studies are currently underway that will build on initial findings to provide a deeper analysis of specific sectors and biomes, specifically on Water & Wetlands and Oceans & Coasts.

Written especially for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Nature and its Role in the Green Economy discussion paper looks at how Nature and Natural Capital contribute to a green economy, both in terms of the benefits provide to society by maintaining nature as well as the losses avoided by conserving and rehabilitating natural capital.