A new TEEB -The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity- initiative for Water and Wetlands will be launched at the UN's Summit on Sustainable Development on 15 June in Rio, Brazil.
The new TEEB for Water and Wetlands aims to utilise the TEEB approach to generate a better understanding of the value of ecosystem services provided by water and wetlands, such as freshwater supply, food, building materials, risk reduction and flood control, groundwater recharge, biodiversity, climate change adaptation and more. IUCN's Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) contributed content and funding for the new study
"Following up on the great interest in natural infrastructure after the 6th World Water Forum, WANI is supporting the TEEB study on the importance of nature as infrastructure. It will pull together the evidence base needed for building strategies for investment in nature as water infrastructure, that can be accessible and used by policy-makers", said Mark Smith, Director IUCN Global Water Programme.
The initiative forms part of the major TEEB study - an international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward.
Placing an economic value on ecosystem services provided by water and wetlands raises awareness and recognition about the valuable and indispensible services that nature provides. The work was initiated by the Ramsar Convention and its Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and supported by the Norwegian, Swiss and Finnish governments, and IUCN.
The Ramsar Secretariat is organizing a special event for the launch at the Rio+20 Summit which will take place in RioCentro, Brazil on 15 June. The event will mark the official launch of the TEEB Water and Wetlands initiative and seek input and engagement into the process.