Biodiversity benefits

Basis for action: "To assess economic costs of the loss of biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services, of the failure to take measures to fulfill the three objectives of the Convention, and benefits of early action to reduce loss of biological diversity and its associated ecosystem services"...Strategy for resource mobilization, objective 1.2

Number of countries that have assessed values of biodiversity, in accordance with the Convention
Number of countries that have been provided with the necessary funding and capacity building to undertake the valuation and planning activities Target: "By 2015, 30 per cent of those Parties have assessed and/or evaluated the intrinsic, ecological, genetic, socioeconomic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components"...Decision XI/4, paragraph 7(d)

Status and trend

According to the Global Monitoring Report 2012, only a quarter of countries have undertaken valuation exercise, and the drivers for valuation include promotion of biodiversity-based goods and services (green markets/biotrade, agriculture, fisheries, forest products, medicinal plants, tourism, wildlife), use of labels/ certificates, application of market mechanisms such as transferable rights or quota, liability and insurance, polluter-pays-principle, environmental impact assessment procedures. Lack of human and technical capacity in conducting such valuation studies was identified as a constraint.
The rough order-of-magnitude estimates of values of biodiversity and ecosystem services are available at the global level, and several countries have started to implement the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity at the national level. Most existing valuation exercises have been done at project level and incomprehensive in nature, and national-level aggregations of biodiversity values in general are not available. In the late 1980s, Costa Rica and Mexico implemented national environmental accounting through pilot projects, and subsequently Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Guatemala all have experimented with environmental accounts, though not including data on ecosystem services outside of land use and land cover.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme