Socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in the Nordic Countries
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Socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in the Nordic Countries

Synthesis in the context of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)

Nature provides a range of benefits (ecosystem services) that underpin human and socio-economic well-being. Many of these benefits – and the associated economic values – are not acknowledged in decision-making. As a result, nature remains almost invisible in the political and individual choices made. This report presents a synthesis of the socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in the Nordic countries. The study was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and the NCM Finnish Presidency in 2011, following in the footsteps of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) initiative. The study reveals that Nordic ecosystems play an integral role in supporting socio-economic wellbeing. However, a number of gaps in the existing information base still need to be addressed to ensure that these benefits are fully integrated into the Nordic decision-making processes.

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English
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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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Natural capital constitutes the foundation for human wellbeing and is a key asset for economic prosperity. Nature provides a range of goods and services, commonly referred to as ecosystem services, whose economic invisibility has thus far been a major cause of their undervaluation and mismanagement. Developing our capacity to measure and monitor biodiversity, ecosystems and their services is therefore an essential step towards better management of our natural capital.