Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Marjan van den Belt, in her role as lead author, attended the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on deliverable 3(c) – Policy support tools and methodologies for scenario analysis and modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services, 9-13 March 2015 in Ushuaia, Argentina.

International delegates gather in Ushuaia, Argentina

Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Second meeting of Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held in Bonn, Germany at United Nations building from 8-12 September 2014. The aim of ‘deliverable 3d’ is ‘Scoping for the methodological assessment regarding diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem services’.

IPBES 8-12 September 2014

Environment Bay of Plenty presentation about Flood Projection: Investment Trap Built and Natural Capital on 10 December

The presentation took the format of three one hour sessions on:

  • Economics - basics considerations about use and limitations of various Neo-classical Economic tools; Cost Benefit Analysis, Economic Impact Analysis, Cost Effectiveness Analysis. This included the critical role of time preference and ‘discount rates’.
  • Participatory/collaborative processes - highlighting Social and Human Capital and capacity building through participatory/collaborative processes and adaptive management; the benefits and the limitations, timing, account-ability and a reflection on institutional adaptability.
  • Ecosystem services, systems-oriented and spatial tools - Systems thinking and system dynamics based tools can assist in developing knowledge to close the gap between where we want to go and where we currently are and explore ‘what-if scenarios’. 

The Treasury and Stats NZ held "Living Standards" workshop on 8th October

The workshop discussed the Living Standards policy tool that has been developed to provide Treasury policy advice consistent with the vision of “working for higher living standards for New Zealanders”. The framework emphasises that living standards are multi-dimensional, not just related to increases in Gross Domestic Product, the traditional measure used. This framework extends beyond an economic growth focus to inclusion of a broad range of social, human and environmental factors that contribute to well-being. The intention is to encourage decision-makers to think in an integrated way across policy objectives and have regard to the broader impacts of policy.

The Living Standards policy tool aligns closely with the established beliefs/positions of Ecological Economics. The framework is based on the 4 capitals (human, social, man-made/physical and natural) which is an approach that has been extensively used within the trans-disciplinary field of Ecological Economics. The Ecological Economics world-view is the four capitals are all assets that contribute to and underpin human well-being and therefore need to be maintained and enhanced.

Living Standards Workshop

left to right) Marjan van den Belt (EERNZ) Girol Karacaoglu (Deputy Secretary Treasury) Vicky Forgie (EERNZ) and Beat Huser (Waikato Regional Council)

Ecosystem Return Foundation

EERNZ is affiliated with Ecosystem Return Foundation and information about the Foundation can be found on their website:

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