Press release of 14 March 2012

Great International Interest in the Value of Nature

Leading environmental economists meet at the UFZ in advance of the Rio sustainability summit

Leipzig. More than 250 scientists and experts from around the world will meet next week in Leipzig to discuss the economic value of biodiversity. The international conference with the title "TEEB Conference 2012 - Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: Challenges for Science and Implementation" will take place at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), one of the pioneers in this field. During four days, from 19 to 22 March, the participants will discuss new ways and innovative approaches for the protection of natural resources and the environment. The central issue is, above all, the implementation of international agreements at the national level.

Pavan Sukhdev

The attendance of Pavan Sukhdev, the former study leader of the TEEB project and former Head of the UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, is expected on the conference.
Foto: Klaus-Dieter Sonntag

Fruits on a market

Pollinators are responsible for important ecosystem services. Their decline have main effects on the following three main crop categories; fruits, vegetable and edible oilseed crops.
Photo: André Künzelmann/UFZ

TEEB is the abbreviation for "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity" – a global project established in 2007 for confronting the threatening and massive losses of biological diversity (biodiversity). TEEB underscores the economic benefits of biodiversity on a global level and draws attention to the growing socio-economic cost due to the losses of biodiversity and of intact eco-systems. It is an inter-disciplinary project involving the natural and the social sciences. Experts seek to develop options for measures and actions in the social, political and economic arena.

Under the sponsorship of the European Union, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and several European governments, a number of TEEB-reports have been published. These reports have provided the impetus for one of the most dynamic fields of research in the environmental area in recent years. Now, the focus is on applying lessons on the economic benefits of biodiversity to the national and local level. National TEEB studies have been initiated, for example, in Brazil, Norway, the Netherlands, and also in Germany under the lead of UFZ.

In addition to Pavan Sukhdev, the former study leader of the TEEB project and former Head of the UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, Simon Upton, the Environment Director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Jacqueline McGlade, the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, and Julia Marton-Lefèvre, the Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are expected to participate. The conference at the UFZ will further extend the international and inter-disciplinary field of research on the economics of biodiversity and ecosystems and will draw attention to its relevance for sustainable policy decisions. Furthermore, the TEEB conference underscores the importance of German biodiversity research at the international level.

The discussions at the UFZ will take place in advance of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro ("Rio+20") in June 2012, at which the sustainable development and sustainability research of the coming decades will be re-aligned. The results of the Leipzig conference will be incorporated one week later in the "Planet under Pressure" conference in London, which is expected to produce decisive impulses for Rio+20.

“TEEB Conference 2012”
Leipzig, 19. - 22.03.2012
(Die Konferenz wird von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) unterstützt.)

„Planet under Pressure“
London, 26.-29.03.2012

Hinweise für Medienvertreter:

Während der Konferenz erreichen Sie die Wissenschaftler über das Organisationsbüro der Konferenz unter 0341-235-1944. Konferenzsprache ist Englisch. Medienvertreter können gerne nach Anmeldung teilnehmen. (Dafür bitten wir um eine kurze Mail an oder Interessierten empfehlen wir neben den wissenschaftlichen Vorträgen vor allem die Podiumsdiskussion am Montag 18:00 bis 19:30 Uhr.
Bitte diese Daten nicht veröffentlichen. Vielen Dank.

Further information

TEEB contact person at the UFZ:

Dr. Heidi Wittmer
Tel +49 341 235-1629
Dr. Heidi Wittmer

Dr. Carsten Neßhöver
Tel +49 341 235-1649
Dr. Carsten Neßhöver


Tilo Arnhold (UFZ Press Office)
Tel +49 341 235-1635

Sebastian Tilch
Tel +49 341 235-1062
Sebastian Tilch

TEEB contact persons for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

Georgina Langdale (TEEB Media and Communications, UNEP)

Benjamin Simmons (TEEB Coordinator – UNEP)
Tel: + 41 22 917 8361

Further Links

Homepage of TEEB

Information about the TEEB study (in Germany)

Previous press releases on this topic:

TEEB Report Puts World’s Natural Assets on the Global Political Radar. (Press release of 20 October 2010):

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Local and Regional Policy Makers report launched at major biodiversity conference in Ghent. (Press release of 9 September 2010)

TEEB report released on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy makers (Press release of 13 November 2009)

Time to Tap Climate Change-Combating Potential of the World’s Ecosystems (Press release of 2 September 2009)

A major new study on the economic consequences of ecosystem decline (Press release of 29 May 2008)

At the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) scientists are researching the causes and consequences of far-reaching changes to the environment. They are concerned with water resources, biological diversity, the consequences of climate change and adaptability, environmental and biotechnologies, bioenergy, the behaviour of chemicals in the environment, their effect on health, modelling and social science issues. Their guiding theme: Our research contributes to the sustainable use of natural resources and helps to secure this basis for life over the long term under the effects of global change. The UFZ employs 1,000 people in Leipzig, Halle and Magdeburg. It is financed by the federal government and the federal states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

The Helmholtz Association contributes towards solving major and pressing social, scientific and economic issues with scientific excellence in six research areas: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Aeronautics, Aerospace and Transport. The Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation with over 31,000 employees in 18 research centres and an annual budget of approximately 3.4 billion euros. Its work stands in the tradition of the naturalist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).