This synthesis complements, but does not attempt to summarize, the other products of TEEB (see insert, section 4 and Annex 1). The aim of this synthesis is to highlight and illustrate the approach adopted by TEEB: namely to show how economic concepts and tools can help equip society with the means to incorporate the values of nature into decision making at all levels.
Applying economic thinking to the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services can help clarify two critical points: why prosperity and poverty reduction depend on maintaining the flow of benefits from ecosystems; and why successful environmental protection needs to be grounded in sound economics, including explicit recognition, efficient allocation, and fair distribution of the costs and benefits of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
The completion of the study and the publication of this synthesis come at a time when the global community has an unprecedented opportunity to rethink and reconfigure the way people manage biological resources. A new vision for biodiversity, with proposals for time-bound targets and clear indicators, is being drawn up by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in this International Year of Biodiversity. TEEB’s approach to incorporating nature’s values into economic decision making can help turn that vision into reality.
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