Conserving biodiversity by integrating ecosystem services into public policy and business action

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, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Ministry of the Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente), National Confederation of Industry (CNI) Brazil
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

Brazil.  Capacity development for the TEEB initiative is one project priority. (Photo: Cassiana Moreira) © GIZ

Context

Brazil is home to 20 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. It also boasts an immense cultural diversity due to the many traditional population groups and over 200 indigenous peoples, who possess a wealth of knowledge about nature and the environment. The ecosystem services delivered by the country’s natural capital are not only vitally important for Brazilian society and the national economy. The ways in which these services provide drinking water, pollinate plants and protect against extreme weather conditions also ensure the ecological balance and prosperity of societies throughout the entire world.

The planning and implementation of policies and business decisions in Brazil does not yet always demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how significant biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are to the country’s sustainable economic and social development. So far, there have been only a few practical examples of successful implementation or of structured dialogue between the various institutions and government levels on integrating ecosystem services into public policy in the private sector, large companies have been the ones most likely to take action, whereas small and medium-sized enterprises have generally been far less responsive.

Objective

Public and private sector actors in Brazil incorporate the socio-economic and cultural value of ecosystems into their decision-making.

Approach

The project is part of the global TEEB agenda (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) and supports the Brazilian TEEB initiative (Iniciativa Capital Natural do Brasil). On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ supports Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment to achieve its biodiversity conservation and climate change objectives. The National Confederation of Industry (CNI) Brazil is also acting as an implementation partner.

The project is supporting planning and policy-making processes that take account of the socio-economic and cultural value of biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it delivers. It is also strengthening dialogue processes among public and private sector stakeholders. Lessons learned from regional and local pilot projects feed into national policy-making and international negotiation processes.

The main areas of cooperation are:

  • Integration of ecosystem services into policy and strategy development at national level
    Training activities focus on specialists and decision-makers within Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment, the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) Brazil and additional key players. The specialists improve their negotiation skills by incorporating environmental economic arguments (mainstreaming).
  • Integration of ecosystem services into selected regional development processes
    The project provides training to key stakeholders in initiatives in the Amazon, the Cerrado savanna and the coastal forests of Mata Atlântica on how to incorporate the economic and cultural value of biodiversity into regional development processes. It offers support for negotiation processes on sustainable forms of land use, underpinning them with economic arguments.
  • Integration of ecosystem services into the business practices of selected small and medium-sized enterprises
    The project is developing tools and methods with which small and medium-sized enterprises can incorporate ecosystem services into their production processes and company policies.

Results

The project has achieved the following results so far:

  • Almost 200 professionals and managers from federal, state and municipal administrations in Brazil along with staff from non-governmental organisations, universities and research institutes have been trained in the IES approach (Integrating Ecosystem Services into Development Planning) so that they can act as multipliers.
  • 20 businesses have been shown how they can take into account and integrate ecosystem services. They now have tools that enable them to carry out an economic assessment of the impacts that ecosystem services have on their business operations, the ways in which these services are interdependent, and the opportunities that they offer.
  • Industry associations in six federal states are promoting strategies geared to actively involving the business sector in integrating ecosystem services.
  • National policies on regenerating natural vegetation and conserving biodiversity now take into account the TEEB approach and economic instruments for protecting biodiversity.
Brazil. Harnessing the value of ecosystem services – from providing drinking water to scenic beauty – is at the core of the TEEB approach. (Photo: Werner Rudhart) © GIZ
  • A methodology for mapping and assessing ecosystem services is helping to ensure that the issue is integrated into national guidelines on spatial development planning with a view to the sustainable management of land and the environment.
  • Two local initiatives are using the methodology for mapping and assessing ecosystem services in drawing up their municipal development plans.