The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global initiative focused on “making nature’s values visible”. Its principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. It aims to achieve this goal by following a structured approach to valuation that helps decision-makers recognize the wide range of benefits provided by ecosystems and biodiversity, demonstrate their values in economic terms and, where appropriate, capture those values in decision-making.
The TEEB Secretariat provides a platform for TEEB-inspired country studies that are financed and managed by governments or other development partners. A TEEB country study identifies the ecosystem services that are vital to meeting the country’s policy priorities and makes recommendations on how these services can be integrated into policies. These recommendations depending on the country context can include policies for poverty alleviation, subsidy reform, land use management, protected area management, securing livelihoods, investment in natural infrastructure restoration and national accounting to include natural capital.
TEEB studies can help countries answer these questions:
- What is the natural capital in my country and what is driving change?
- Do we measure and understand our natural capital?
- To what extent are the values of nature integrated into decision-making?
- What are the issues that need policy attention?
- What are the policy tools and decision options that offer solutions?
Now, five TEEB-inspired country studies from the South Pacific are available:
The living resources of the Pacific Ocean are part of the region’s rich natural capital. Marine and coastal ecosystems provide benefits for all people in and beyond the region. These benefits are called ecosystem services and include a broad range of values linking the environment with development and human well-being.
Yet, the natural capital of the ocean often remains invisible. Truly recognizing the value of such resources can help to highlight their importance and prevent their unnecessary loss. The MACBIO project provides technical support to the governments of Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu in identifying and highlighting the values of marine and coastal resources and their ecosystem services. Once values are more visible, governments and stakeholders can plan and manage resources more sustainably, and maintain economic and social benefits of marine and coastal biodiversity in the medium and long term.