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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)

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

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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Policy conclusions and recommendations: opportunities and priorities for Nordic countries

This scoping assessment has clearly emphasised that the first step towards integrating the value of ecosystem services into Nordic policies and decision-making processes would be to identify and develop a common set of indicators to assess and monitor the status, trends and socioeconomic value of ecosystem services. While the identified key ecosystem services might differ from one country to another, an overarching common set of (core) indicators would beneficial, enabling comparisons to be made between countries and regions as well as facilitating reporting under international policy-processes such as the CBD and EU.

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