TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) was launched in 2008 at the Potsdam G8+5 summit to provide an assessment of the value of Ecosystems and Biodiversity that would complement the Stern Review of Climate Change. TEEBAF (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food) was launched in January 2014 to build upon prior efforts, but in the area of agriculture and food. TEEB focuses on perverse incentives and on making the invisible benefits of well-functioning ecosystems more visible. For example, well-functioning ecosystems provide ecosystem services that humans rely on. These range from the more tangible provisioning services such as food and raw materials to less tangible (but equally important) services such as pollination, local air quality regulation and soil fertility. Market forces tend not to capture the values of these services that are ‘provided for free’ by nature. As such the economic compass needs to be redressed. This can include valuing the positive inputs that nature provides to human production in dollar terms, but at the same time TEEB is not about commoditizing nature. It is concerned with demonstrating the value of nature and then capturing this value.This project is designed to provide a comprehensive economic evaluation of the ecoagri-food systems complex, and better understand how the economic environment in which farmers operate is distorted by significant externalities, both negative and positive, along with a lack of awareness of dependency on natural capital. TEEBAF leaders posit that the double-whammy of economic invisibility of impacts from both ecosystems and agricultural/food systems is a root cause of increased fragility and lower resilience to shocks in both ecological and human systems.
This project aims to:(i) to increase visibility and improve understanding of natural capital inputs and (positive and negative) externalities of agricultural/food production on environmental, social and economic well-being; and(ii) to establish a community of practice engaging researchers and decision-makers and wider stakeholders working in the areas in agricultural/food, ecological and social/economic (including health) aspects. As a result of this work, it is envisaged that the key messages and policy recommendations will influence policy to assist in the transition to more sustainable agricultural systems and practices.The general policy target is to address invisible impacts, both positive and negative. However, specific policies under this umbrella are yet to be determined. The ‘Policies’ report commences mid-way through the process of completing the ‘Foundations’ report so that interim findings from the latter can inform the former, and vice versa.