TEEB implementation – assessment of ecosystem services for holistic and sustainable land management in the agricultural sector
As of: September 2021
The agricultural sector causes the degradation of ecosystems and increases health costs and CO2 emissions – but it also contributes much to nutrition, the production of raw materials and the creation of jobs. Many of the negative and positive effects of agriculture, however, are “economically invisible”, i.e. they are not included in decision-making processes. The project uses the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity approach (TEEB), cooperating with relevant stakeholders to identify decision processes that can be improved by economical evaluation. This approach is followed by the modelling of impacts on land use, the assessment of changes in the provision of ecosystem services and an economic evaluation. These processes include the analysis of effects on the fairness of decisions regarding the distribution of land use rights and the derivation of policy recommendations.
State of implementation/results
- The pandemic has not only affected project progress but also policy priorities in food systems, and the UNEP-TEEB Office has adapted accordingly.
- The ‘COVID19, the Environment, and Food Systems: Contain, Cope and Rebuild Better’ report was produced in December 2020 (www.unep.org/…).
- Overall project progress as well as specific COVID-19 responses were discussed at the TEEBAgriFood Regional Symposia which took place in 2021 for Africa & Georgia (February, including IKI Kenya and Tanzania), Asia & the Pacific (March, including IKI Thailand) and Latin America & the Caribbean (April, including IKI Colombia (teebweb.org/…).
- New work streams have been developed owing to the pandemic: (i) in Colombia, the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework is being applied to assess bioeconomic development pathways and scenarios for the Amazon region, feeding into green stimulus packages; (ii) in Kenya, new work led by WCMC will lead to one new scenario being scoped/assessed on the effect of COVID-19 and trade policies on small and medium enterprises in Kenya.
- TEEBAgriFood and the IKI project specifically is being mainstreamed in the UN Food Systems Summit (FFS) preparatory meetings and Regional/National Dialogues. TEEBAgriFood is a form of True Cost Accounting (TCA), and TCA is being proposed as a game-changing solution. The project was also presented at the National FSS Dialogue in Thailand in February 2021.
- In Colombia, preliminary findings from the Humboldt Institute show that regenerative agriculture and nature-based solutions are not only good for the environment, but also for livelihoods.
- In Kenya, three scenarios along with the implementation and dissemination plans were presented and agreed at the Steering Committee Meeting: (i) Business as Usual, (ii) intensified agroforestry, and (iii) enhanced forest and CBNRM (Community Based Natural Resource Management). Community-based Social and Natural Capital workshops took place to provide inputs into the scenarios, as well as questionnaires and interviews with the Kenya Forestry Service and Community leaders from the five counties. Furthermore, a project video is being developed, using footage from field work and consultations in October 2020.
- In Tanzania, linkages have been made with UNEP-WCMC which are working with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania and the Tanzania Forest Services Agency to protect biodiversity in Southern Tanzania.
- In Thailand, the focus of the study is on organic rice production systems in Buriram and Surin provinces. Khon Kaen University finalized their scoping and methodological report, which included a biophysical, and valuation data review. A summary for policy makers in Thai language was also shared with the Steering Committee in the third quarter of 2020.