Centre researcher contributes to TEEB report

Provides crucial estimates on the costs of ecosystem and biodiversity loss

A river runs red through the Amazon Basin, carrying muddy sediments, evidence of deforestation in the world`s largest and most important rainforest. Photo: S. Zeff/Azote
Professor Thomas Elmqvist of the Urban social-ecological systems and globalization theme, is coordinating lead author on a chapter in a new report entitled The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB).

A follow-up from Stern report
The report, which is the direct result of a G8 proposal laid out in Potsdam March 2007, evaluates the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the associated decline in ecosystem services worldwide, and compare them with the costs of effective conservation and sustainable use.

The report is a follow-up from the 2006 Stern report which gave an overview of the effect of climate change and global warming on the world economy and the financial benefits of taking early action on climate change in order to avoid the worst effects of such change.
 
Taking it a step further from the Stern report, the TEEB report takes into consideration the hidden value of ecosystem services and what the costs would be if ecosystem services such as freshwater, fish and biodiversity would dramatically decrease or even disappear. It also provides a geographic overview over the areas expected to be hardest hit by such scenarios.

Launched ahead of biodiversity workshop
- The intention with the report is to develop tools to better calculate the values of ecosystems and biodiversity in future financial estimates, Elmqvist says. He contributed to the report with the chapter Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services which provides a better understanding of the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, the constraints associated with ecosystem services in applying economic analysis and the reliability, risks and uncertainties associated with the available knowledge base.
 
The report will be presented during a scientific workshop on biodiversity, ecosystem services and governance held by The Swedish National Scientific Council on Biological Diversity 4—6 September 2009 on Tjärnö ,Sweden.

The outcome from the workshop will directly be transferred to the back-to-back official high-level conference “Visions for biodiversity beyond 2010 — people, ecosystem services and the climate crisis" that will be held in Strömstad, hosted by the Swedish EU Presidency.

Staff details

Thomas Elmqvist

Thomas Elmqvist is a professor in Natural resource management at Stockholm University.

His research is focused on ecosystem dynamics, land use change, natural disturbances and components of resilience including the role of social institutions.

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Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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