Making ecosystem services commonly known and incorporating them in economic, political and societal decisions has been added as a milestone to Sweden's environmental goals by 2018.
By better defining the value of ecosystem services and integrating these in decision making processes, the Swedish government believes the country will be better equipped for future nature conservation and sustainable use of its resources. As part of this work, a commission has been appointed to help make the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services better known in Sweden.
The commission, which is led by Maria Schultz from the Reslience and Development Programme together with centre researcher Thomas Hahn, Louise Hård af Segerstad from Albaeco and Lars Berg from the Ministry of Environment, will present valuation scenarios beyond monetary valuations. This means looking at the contexts in which evaluations are relevant, who should do the valuations what type of valuation is most appropriate.
Still an unknown concept for many
Although existing international assessments like the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) provide helpful guidance, there is a lot of work to do when it comes to implementation. For many practitioners it is still an unknown concept.
"We will have a close dialogue with regional and local authorities and other stakeholders to help us find, and validate, key implementation measures," says Maria Schultz.
"It is becoming increasingly apparent that we cannot work with the environment as a separate issue. In order to find solutions to the challenges we face now, environmental issues need to be incorporated into other areas. This commission is about making that possible, and using ecosystem services as a concept to help integrate a perspective about the biosphere in various decisions" says centre researcher and member of the commission, Thomas Hahn.
The commission will deliver its report 30 September 2013.