asked by Jose Castro Negrete on Wednesday 6th October 2010


Earlier today in Oxford, Earthwatch Institute, Rio Tinto and SustainAbility sponsored a lecture from Pavan Sukhdev, Study Leader of TEEB. Pavan presented the latest TEEB report and raised the questions:

"Can economics really save wild nature? Can wild nature save the economy?"

He mentioned that 40 out of 75 Council Groups earlier this month at Davos were directly connected to biodiversity and ecosystems loss or loss of natural capital . I found the report ground breaking and would like to know your thoughts about it and what would it take for us to apply the economics Pavan Sukhdev and TEBB are promoting.


1 vote


+2 #2 AnaDP 2010-02-11 23:18

Joe, this is an excellent question!

Mr. Sukhdev provides new and positive ideas, like this one:

The need to ‘internalize the externalities’

"Ecosystems generate wealth indirectly that is not valued but can be large, for example a mangrove forest could generate over $10,000/ha/yr through providing fish and storm protection. The cost of restoring a mangrove forest after it has been cut down is also non-significant. Weighing these two up over 40 years gives the internal rate of return on initial investment to maintain ecosystems, which for mangroves is 40% and for grasslands, 70%. To put this in perspective, your bank account is probably around 1%. For this reason, Mr Sukhdev stated that the economics can not only save wild nature, but wild nature could also save the economy".

#1 tgieseke 2010-05-09 02:15

Economics is not some bad creature, but a system to communicate the value of things. Economics is a language of value. The problem is we have an immature economic system that has yet to learn to communicate these significant ecological values. The values associated with rain and mango forests, are indeed, difficult to incorporate into the economic system. Because of this, I feel that we need to begin with the values associated with the highly managed agro-ecosystems and recognize both positive and negative externalities. It is from this basis that I wrote, EcoCommerce 101: the emergence of an invisible hand to sustain the bio-economy. From this foundation, we can expand the language of ecoservice values to all terrestrial-based ecosystems.

Thanks for the dialogue,

Tim Gieseke