Ecological and Economic Foundations

foundationsThe TEEB study is underpinned by an assessment of state-of-the-art science and economics. The goal of TEEB Ecological and Economic Foundations is to provide the conceptual foundation to link economics and ecology, to highlight the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services and to show their importance for human well-being. Written by a team of international experts and led by Dr. Pushpam Kumar, this aspect of the TEEB study tackles the challenges of valuing ecosystem services, as well as issues related to economic discounting. It aims to quantify the costs of inaction and examine the macroeconomic dimension of ecosystem services loss. This information will focus on improving our understanding of the economic costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

Examples include water and air quality regulation, nutrient cycling and decomposition, plant pollination and flood control, all of which are dependent on biodiversity. They are predominantly public goods with limited or no markets and do not command any price in the conventional economic system, so their loss is often not detected and continues unaddressed and unabated. This in turn not only impacts human well-being, but also seriously undermines the sustainability of the economic system.

TEEB Ecological and Economic Foundations is the most comprehensive overview of existing thinking in this area to date, and the process is bringing scientists and economists together to provide the analysis and tools required in order for us to be able to create a robust methodological framework enabling the decision-makers at different levels to undertake economic analysis of ecosystem services and biodiversity.

Citation: TEEB (2010), The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Ecological and Economic Foundations. Edited by Pushpam Kumar. Earthscan, London and Washington

The book can be purchased from Routledge here.

[ English ]


Chapter 1 – Integrating the ecological and economic dimensions in biodiversity and ecosystem service valuation

Chapter 2 – Biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services

Chapter 3 – Measuring biophysical quantities and the use of indicators

Chapter 4 – Socio-cultural context of ecosystem and biodiversity valuation

Chapter 5 – The economics of valuing ecosystem services and biodiversity

Chapter 6 – Discounting, ethics, and options for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem integrity

Chapter 7 – Key Messages and Linkages with National and Local Policies


Latest Publications

Measuring what matters in agriculture and food systems: a synthesis

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) (2018). Measuring what matters in agriculture and food systems: a synthesis of the results and recommendations of TEEB for Agriculture and Food’s Scientific and Economic Foundations report. Geneva: UN Environment. Download report

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Scientific and Economic Foundations Report

The TEEBAgriFood ‘Scientific and Economic Foundations’ report addresses the core theoretical issues and controversies underpinning the evaluation of the nexus between the agri-food sector, biodiversity and ecosystem services and externalities including human health impacts from agriculture on a global scale. It argues the…

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TEEB Challenges and Responses

TEEB ‘s progress, challenges and responses towards mainstreaming the economics of nature. [ENG] [ESP]

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TEEB for Agriculture & Food Concept Note

February 2014- The Concept Note presents the case for and proposed outline content of a TEEB for Agriculture & Food study.

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Natural Capital Accounting and Water Quality: Commitments, Benefits, Needs and Progress

December 2013 – The briefing note outlines existing guidance and examples on water quality accounting and identifies the ongoing challenges related to the development of natural capital accounting and water quality accounting. Inspired by the growing global focus on natural capital accounting, the note identifies the ongoing challenges related to the development of natural capital accounting and water quality accounting, in order to encourage debate and commitment towards effective water and biodiversity policy.

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