At the 2007 meeting of the environment ministers of the G8+5 in Potsdam, Germany, the European Commission launched The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study. Its aim is to assess the economic repercussions of global biodiversity loss.
TEEB has reinforced the need for the economic valuation of changes in ecosystems at large geographical scales. Assessing the costs and benefits of changes in ecosystems includes the valuation of scarce, non-market goods and services. That requires the use of specialised research methods that are commonly labour intensive because they frequently involve interviewing and detailed statistical analysis. Such techniques are often location-specific and become expensive and time-consuming when carried out across large geographical areas, including multiple ecosystem sites.
The present report analyses options for scaling up existing estimates of ecosystem service values to larger geographical scales. It also presents a case study of wetlands at the European level and discusses the results and policy applications.