Natural Capital Germany - the Economic Value of Nature

Note: This text is from the archive.
Published on:
Sequence number: No 137/12
Topic: Climate adaptation
Publisher: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety
Minister: Peter Altmaier
Term of office: 22.05.2012 - 17.12.2013
17th Leg. period: 28.10.2009 - 17.12.2013
Launch of "Natural Capital Germany - TEEB DE"

Joint press release by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation an

Today marks the official start of the national project on the worldwide TEEB process (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversty), which will illustrate the economic value of nature in Germany. The project aims to provide a scientific description of the many services provided by ecosystems in Germany (such as alluvial meadows, bogs, grassland, forests and municipal green areas), which can be utilised for instance for climate protection, flood protection, controlling pollution of air and water bodies and recreation. In addition to this, scientists are elaborating on how to to ensure natures services in the long term.

"Alongside its beauty, diversity and uniqueness nature provides many goods and services that represent the fundamental basis of our economy and prosperity. This is precisely what we want to call attention to with "Nature Capital Germany" explained Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier. "I hope that this project can give positive impetus to achieving our biodiversity targets and more acceptance of nature conservation."

Professor Dr Bernd Hansjürgens, head of the TEEB study at UFZ, made reference to international experience. "The international TEEB study "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity" (2007-2010) showed that when making decisions, free natural goods and ecosystem services were not sufficiently taken into account. At the same time it became apparent that conservation and sustainable use of nature are beneficial to the economy, as taking precautions to ensure a basis for life and economic activity are much cheaper than attempting to replace what has been lost, if this is even possible."

Professor Dr Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) explained how economic assessment of environmentally sound flood protection measures works using the example of the Elbe river " a study we supported illustrates that the benefits of dyke relocation are three times higher than the costs if you not only take into account avoided flood damages but also factor in the ecosystem services of alluvial plains." In the future, thanks to the "Natural Capital Germany" project such information will be better incorporated into political, administrative, business and consumer decisions.

The "Natural Capital Germany - TEEB DE" project, supported by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with BMU funds, is being coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). By 2015 several thematic reports on the status of knowledge in relation to the value of nature's services in Germany will be compiled and perspectives on the further development of political instruments will be presented (key areas will be natural capital and climate, ecosystem services in rural and urban areas). A project advisory board, comprised of representatives from the scientific community, the media and industry, provides technical advice and contributes to raising awareness of and the discussions on the Natural Capital approach. The various stakeholders in society will be involved through means of a project monitoring working group.

23.10.2012 | Press release No 137/12 | Climate adaptation
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