Conserving biodiversity and incorporating it into policy-making and business

Project description

Title: Conserving biodiversity by integrating ecosystem services into public policy and business action (TEEB)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA – Ministério do Meio Ambiente), Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI – Confederação Nacional da Indústria)
Overall term: 2012 to 2019

The Project has as part of its strategy the development of capacities in the area of ​​valuation of ecosystem services.

Context

There are a wealth of species, landscapes and natural resources in Brazil: the country is home to almost 20 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. More than 300 indigenous peoples and many traditional communities live here too, and they possess a comprehensive knowledge about nature and the environment. The ecosystem services delivered by the country’s nature are not only vitally important for Brazilian society and the national economy, but also for the preservation of environmental balance and social well-being on a global scale. Economic growth in Brazil has increased the pressure on ecosystems by greatly increasing the demand for goods and natural resources.

The importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for the country’s sustainable economic and social development is broadly recognised, but this awareness is not yet widely reflected in the planning and implementation of policy measures and corporate decisions. The Brazilian government has set ambitious targets in biodiversity protection, for instance under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the National Strategy and Plan of Action for Biodiversity (NBSAP), and the Project makes a relevant contribution to the achievement of these commitments.

Objective

Public and private actors consider the economic and non-economic value of biodiversity and of ecosystem services in their decision-making processes thus improving the protection of biodiversity, its sustainable use and the economic and social development.

Approach

The Regional-Local TEEB Project is aligned to the global TEEB agenda (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity). The Project focuses on fostering examples of effective implementation at local, regional and federal levels, to provide models of biodiversity and ecosystem value integration into the planning of public policies and to strengthen the dialogue between public and private actors. 

The Project identifies current processes (e.g. policies, plans, programmes, instruments) at federal, regional and local levels that may contribute with innovative approaches in the valuation and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services with a view to informing decision-making. Partnerships with decision-makers, whether state or municipal governments or representatives of the business sector, enable a joint structure for the execution of the project and the implementation of pilot projects. 

In addition, the Project promotes the involvement of research institutes and civil society actors that influence the design of climate, ecosystem and biodiversity policies and that participate in cross-sector dialogue forums.

The main areas of cooperation are:

  • Integration of ecosystem services into national policy and strategy development
  • Integration of ecosystem services into priority processes in regional-local development
  • Integration of ecosystem services into corporate management
  • Support for the development of environmental economic accounts of water, forests and energy

Results

  • More than 500 specialists from the public and private sectors and from research and civil society have received training in integrating ecosystem services (ISE) into development planning and in valuation tools for ecosystem services.
  • 43 companies of various sizes from different sectors have been advised on the evaluation and management of ecosystem services, with a total of 23 companies developing and publishing valuation cases of ecosystem services.
  • Six public policies for conservation and sustainable use at the federal level were supported through the provision of tools and strategies to integrate ecosystem services: National Strategy and Plan of Action for Biodiversity (NBSAP), National Plan for the Recovery of Native Vegetation (Planaveg), Ecological-Economic Zoning (ZEE), Environmental Fines Conversion Program, Minimum Price Guarantee Policy for Socio-biodiversity Products (PGPM-Bio), Guidelines for Management and Communication of Protected Areas.
  • Six states were supported in the development of structured compensation programs and in the development of instruments for the valorisation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The valorisation of ecosystem services, such as drinking water supply, scenic beauty are the focus of the TEEB initiative.
  • A method for mapping and evaluating ecosystem services at the local level has been developed. It supports the integration of this issue into Brazil’s guidelines on spatial development planning and on sustainable land and environmental management.
  • The first environmental economic accounts of water (period 2013-2015) for Brazil were done with the support of the Project. The environmental economic accounts of water allow to compare the wealth generated and the consumption of water of different economic activities, an important information to improve the sustainable management of water resources.