On 5 November 2009, the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) in Frankfurt/Main hosted a workshop focusing on “Opportunities and limits of the ecosystem services concept.” Holger Gerdes, Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, gave a presentation on the application of the ecosystem services concept in policy consultancy.
In this context, he presented the results of Ecologic’s project “The Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI) on Biodiversity”, which fed into the wider Review on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). The ecosystem services approach, which traces back to the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, played a crucial rule in the project.
In his presentation, Holger Gerdes outlined the methodological aspects of the project, concentrating on those related to the monetary valuation of ecosystem services. The project’s aim was to quantify the economic and social costs that result from the global loss of biological diversity. The analysis was based on existing local valuations of ecosystem services, which were extrapolated to the global level.
Holger Gerdes focussed on the uptake of the project results by politicians and the wider public. He stressed that valuation of natural resources and the assessment of global values might serve as an instrument to raise public awareness for the consequences resulting from biodiversity loss. Thus an increased public awareness might facilitate the implementation of appropriate policy measures. The 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change provides a prime example of where such a strategy was successfully run.
The objective of the semi-official transdisciplinary dialogue was to discuss the potential and the limitations of the ecosystem services concept within BiK-F, which was established in 2008. Holger Gerdes’ speech complemented the other presentations, which dealt with the application of the concept within natural science and with reflections on environmental ethics.
The presentation [pdf, 839 KB, German] is available for download.
- Ecologic Institute Project: The Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI) on Biodiversity
- Ecologic Institute Project: Updating the Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI) on Biodiversity
- Ecologic Institute Project: Scenarios and models for biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Ecologic Institute Project: Guidelines for scaling-up ecosystem service values