Ecosystem Economics

Whilst browsing through a newspaper the other day, looking for something interesting amidst the political drama and social gloom, I was excited to discover a double page spread on the TEEB report.

TEEB stands for The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and the report is the result of a global study on the subject, being presented at a big conference on Biodiversity, currently taking place in Japan.

It seems that at long last, more people are recognising the value of the planet which supports them. The fact is that unless corporations and governments recognise the financial value of biodiverse ecosystems, any moves towards more responsible and sustainable approaches to business will almost always be pushed aside in the pursuit of more monetary profit. If we are to continue living on this planet in the future, a radical transformation in current business practise is needed. This needs to be based on a whole new perspective on economics, one in which natural capital as well as financial capital is taken into account.

Pavan Sukhdev is the leader of study, and here he is talking about it……

For more information and articles on things related to the TEEB report, check out The Bank of Natural Capital.

In the course of researching this topic, I also came across the Conservation Strategy Fund, which trains environmental organisations and conservationists to use economics to protect nature.

I have now begun a whole research into existing initiatives for alternative economies, ethical and sustainable banking, barter systems, skills-based exchange networks etc. And looking at some of the ideas being shared and discussed around these topics. I am also ‘road-testing’ some of these alternatives to see how well they work, and what use they could serve in the transition to a more balanced world.

I will be writing up a report on this in the coming weeks and will post it here. In the meantime if anyone has any experience of any of these systems, or has recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

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