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New TEEB Ecosystem Service valuations added to the Global Value Exchange

by Craig Foden

Jan 27, 2016


1085 valuations have been added to the Global Value Exchange.


These have been extracted from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Valuation Database. The TEEB Valuation Database brings together more than 1300 valuations of ecosystem services from over 300 studies. Each valuation in the TEEB Valuation Database is categorised by the ecosystem service it relates to. Ecosystem services are the benefits provided by ecosystems which are enjoyed by humans and make human life possible. Each of these services is grouped into one of four categories:

  • Provisioning services  
Provisioning services relate to the products which are provided by ecosystems. For example, food and timber from a forest, or fresh drinking water and fish from a lake.
  • Cultural services
Cultural services relate to the non-material benefits provided by ecosystems. For example, the value of recreation or spiritual enhancement provided by a mountain. The value of tourism or aesthetics provided by an ecosystem would also be considered cultural services.
  • Regulating services
The benefits of ecosystems in regulating ecosystem processes are referred to as regulating services. Regulating services include the regulation of climate through carbon sequestration (e.g. by a rainforest), regulation of air and water quality, as well as regulation of natural hazards (e.g. a mangrove forest providing protection from storm surges to a town).
  • Supporting/habitat services

Arguably the most important, supporting/habitat services are those "necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services". Supporting/habitat services include primary production, nutrient cycling and genepool protection.

For more information on ecosystem services, click here.

Before adding valuations from TEEB to the Global Value Exchange, we added a number of outcomes to link them to.

A change in the size and quality of an ecosystem in turn leads to a change in the services provided. For example, a change in the quality/size of coral reef ecosystems will lead to a change in the provisioning services provided. This linkage has been represented through the chain of events feature of the Global Valuation Exchange. In total, 205 outcomes have been added in this way. You can access them by using the search term "ecosystems" on the Outcomes page.

Valuations from the TEEB Database have been linked to these ecosystem service outcomes. For example, Cultural services provided by boreal/coniferous forest ecosystems (change in) has these valuations linked to it:

Value of recreation provided by boreal/coniferous forest ecosystems (Sweden)
Value of tourism provided by boreal/coniferous forest ecosystems (Mexico)

Grouping valuations into this structure of outcomes is useful, as it allows users to search for specific ecosystems and ecosystem service types. As there is a wide range of ecosystem subservices (specific services which fall into one of the four categories outlined above, for example, biomass provisioning or tourism), finding relevant valuations would otherwise be more time consuming.

Each valuation entry on the GVE has information on the original valuation method along with a link to the TEEB Valuation Database and the original valuation source. You can find this on the Relevant Information, Context and Data Source tabs on each valuation page. The valuations can be searched here.


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