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National Assessment of the Economics of Ecosystem Services in Finland (TEEB Finland) – Synthesis and Roadmap

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Basic project information

Project Background

Ecosystem services and their role in contributing to human well-being have become increasingly recognized. In practice, however, the socio-economic importance and value of these services often remains unfamiliar to decision-makers and is not integrated into the decision-making processes. Consequently, there is a need to improve the knowledge in and understanding of the concepts of ecosystem services, as well as the ways different benefits provided by ecosystems - including the functions underpinning these benefits - can be measured and valued. In particular, there is a need to expand our understanding to cover the full range of ecosystem services, going beyond provisioning services. Such information is not only needed to support decision-making at national level but it is also crucial at local level, to support sustainable land-use planning and natural resource management (e.g. farming, fishing and eco-tourism).

Project Objectives        

TEEB Finland is a pioneering project that aims to initiate a systematic national process to incorporate ecosystem services into all levels of decision-making. The goal of the project is to identify Finland's most important (key) ecosystem services and propose methods to assess their current status and future trends. It will also aim to provide some preliminary estimates on the economic importance of some key services, especially the ones that so far remain under-recognized. Consequently, the project pays special attention to the regulating and cultural services that thus far have received limited attention. Building on the insights above, TEEB Finland will also analyze the opportunities for improving the governance of ecosystem services, including exploring how ecosystem services can be linked to supporting the development of sustainable green economy in Finland. The project will produce recommendations for effective integration of ecosystem services into decision-making processes, and for governing natural capital and ecosystem services. The project will also identify major knowledge gaps.

In terms of concrete policy objectives, TEEB Finland aims to support a number of ongoing policy processes at both national and regional level including, in particular, 1) development of national framework for assessing and monitoring ecosystem services (e.g. identification and establishment of appropriate indicators), 2) development of national policies and policy instruments supporting truly ‘green’ green economy and 3) supporting the sustainable regional development through the implementation of green infrastructure. Building on the above, the project is foreseen to contribute to Finland’s commitments in achieving the global and EU biodiversity goals by 2020.

The project and its goals were briefly presented in the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundations's symposium "Connecting people and nature - the promise of ecosystem services?" in Hanasaari, Espoo on December 3rd 2013. This presentation is available below:

Project Process

TEEB Finland will be carried out jointly by the coordinator, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the partners, The Agrifood Research Finland (MTT) and The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).

The project will be primarily based on synthesizing and analyzing existing knowledge. Furthermore, thematic expert working groups, covering key Finnish ecosystems, will be established (e.g. representatives from academic institutions and national / regional natural resource management). The purpose of the working groups is to develop syntheses of ecosystem services state-of-play (e.g. available indicators and existing evidence base) while also seeking to establish consensus on the next steps. Finally, the insights of expert working groups will be complemented by workshops carried out to engage broader range of stakeholders (e.g. representatives of sectoral, industry and NGOs) into the process.

The project consists of five components:

  • Identifying Finland's most important ecosystem services and their indicators
  • Assessing the current state and future trends of Finland's most important ecosystem services
  • Providing insights to the economic value of the most important ecosystem services
  • Providing insights on how to better integrate ecosystem services into decision-making
  • Identifying the importance of ecosystem services and their role in promoting green economy
  • Synthesis and recommendations.

TEEB Finland will build on the regional TEEB Nordic scoping assessment (http://www.teebweb.org/nordic-countries/) and it will be implemented in close co-operation with a number of on-going national projects, e.g. developing national ecosystem service indicators (FESSI) and Green Infrastructure projects (GreenFrame).

The final results of TEEB Finland are foreseen to be published at the end of 2014.

For more information

Head of Unit Jukka-Pekka Jäppinen, tel: +358 400 394 932, Finnish Environment Institute, Biodiversity Unit, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2013-06-24 at 10:41, updated 2013-12-04 at 11:34