UN Environment’s TEEBAgriFood – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food Initiative

Publicado: 13 Mayo 2019
Última edición: 13 Mayo 2019
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The TEEBAgriFood Initiative developed a unique comprehensive evaluation framework which allows assessing of impacts and externalities of agriculture and food systems – the environmental, health, social and cultural externalities, both positive and negative, and across value chains. It builds and illustrates the case for “systems” instead of “silo” thinking. This holistic approach of ‘true cost accounting’ allows decision makers to better compare different policies and the market to value agriculture and food more accurately. Thereby TEEBAgriFood will help to overcome barriers and effectively upscale agroecology and lead to more equitable agriculture and food systems. For its comprehensive approach providing opportunities to contribute to the majority of the SDGs and offering an effective system of ‘true cost accounting’, TEEBAgriFood was recognized with the Future Policy Vision Award 2018, awarded by the World Future Council in partnership with FAO and IFOAM – Organics International.


América Central
América del Norte
Asia Central y del Norte
Asia del Este
El Caribe
Europa Occidental y del Sur
Europa del Este
Norte de Europa
Oeste de Asia, Medio Oriente
Sudeste Asiático
Sur de Asia
África Occidental y Central
África Oriente y África del Sur
África del Norte
Escala de aplicación
Area-wide development
Arrecife rocoso / orilla rocosa
Arrecifes coralinos
Bosque templado caducifolio
Bosques costeros
Bosques siempreverde templado
Bosques tropicales de hoja perenne
Buildings and facilities
Campos de cultivo
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Desierto caliente
Desierto costero
Desierto frío
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas de pastizales
Ecosistemas del desierto
Ecosistemas forestales
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Humedal urbano
Humedales (pantano, turberas)
Mar abierto
Mar abierto
Marisma salina
Montaña submarine / dorsal oceánica
Pastizales templados, sabana, matorral
Piscina, lago, estanque
Pradera marina
Pradera tropical, sabana, matorral
Río, corriente
Selva baja caducifolia
Techos verdes / muros verdes
Tundra, pastizal montano
Áreas verdes (parques, jardines, bosque urbano)
Acceso y participación en los beneficios
Adaptación al cambio climático
Financiación sostenible
Medios de vida sostenibles
Seguridad alimentaria
Servicios ecosistémicos
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Objectivos de Desarrollo Sostenible
ODS 1 - Fin de la pobreza
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 5 - Igualidad de género
ODS 6 - Agua limpia y saneamiento
ODS 8 - Trabajo decente y crecimiento económico
ODS 9 - Industria, innovacióne e infraestructura
ODS 10- Reducción de las desigualidades
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Metas de Aichi
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 4: Producción y consumo sostenibles
Meta 7: Agricultura, acuicultura y silvicultura
Meta 8: Reducción de la contaminación
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 13: Protección de la diversidad genética
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 20: Movilización de recursos de todas las fuentes
Metas del marco de Sendai
Meta 1: Reducir la mortalidad global por desastre para 2030
Meta 2: Reducir el número de personas afectadas a nivel global para 2030
Meta 3: Reducir las pérdidas económicas directas por desastre en relación al PIB para 2030
Enfoques para el compromiso empresarial
Compromiso directo con una empresa
Compromiso directo con asociaciones
Indirecto a través de los consumidores
Indirecto a través de instituciones financieras
Indirecto a través de actores legales


Geneva, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland


Without transforming the way we produce energy, and the way we produce and consume food, international agendas such as the Paris Agreement or the 2030 Agenda will not be achieved. We need to substantially change the way we are producing, processing, distributing and consuming food, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, most of the time many positive and negative externalities are not accounted for, making this fundamental transformation impossible. For instance, agricultural productivity is typically measured by yield per hectare, a simplistic metric that provides an incomplete picture of the true costs and benefits associated with agriculture and food value chains. This calls for a holistic, effective system of ‘true cost accounting’ as offered by the TEEBAgriFood Framework.


In order to improve and secure our eco-agri-food systems and, in particular, to mitigate their negative impacts, all stakeholders including governments, businesses, farmers and citizens, need to be aware of them.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

With the right Objectives (BB1) and assumptions, the Development of TEEBAgriFood (BB2) could begin and develop TEEBAgriFood’s Evaluation Framework and methodologies (BB3). The result - TEEBAgriFood’s Evaluation Framework - can now unfold its Potential as a Transferable Model (BB4).

Impactos positivos

Even though the concrete impact of TEEBAgriFood is to date limited, it is path-breaking as it is the first time that all wider benefits and costs associated with all relevant dimensions of the eco-agri-food value chain have been presented in one single report. As it is clear that only after we have recognized and demonstrated the value of what is being lost, our responses – be they policy responses, business responses, or citizens responses – will adapt, TEEBAgriFood’s influence on future research and decision-making cannot be underestimated.

TEEB first achieved global recognition in 2008, when officials from 13 of the world’s largest economies (the G8+5), commissioned the first-ever global analysis of the economic benefits of biological diversity and the costs of its loss. TEEBAgriFood is one of two most ambitious applications of TEEB. The Interim Report presenting the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework was launched in 2015 at UNFCCC COP 21, with the Exploratory Studies released individually between autumn 2016 and spring 2017. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, presented the underpinnings of the framework at key international events.

On 4 June 2018, the Scientific and Economic Foundations Report was released, welcomed by a number of eminent people, including Erik Solheim, Pavan Sukhdev, Alexander Müller, as well as by stakeholders from international organizations.


Haripriya Gundimeda

Dr. Haripriya Gundimeda, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay says: As a Professor of Environmental Economics in India, I have been closely involved with 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity' (TEEB) for the past several years. TEEB for Agriculture & Food has been particularly eye-opening for me, as a researcher, as it sheds light on the complex, deeply intertwined and often invisible linkages between agriculture and food systems and human well-being.


As a result of the TEEBAgriFood reports, I have picked up the charge to apply the systems approach and comprehensive Framework to an example that is close to home for me: the rice-wheat value chain in Punjab. In this region, there is a short timespan between rice harvest and preparing the fields for growing wheat. When you add the lack of economically viable alternative harvesting technologies, it creates significant externalities in the form of air pollution due to burning rice stalks, harming the health of not only local citizens, but those in surrounding Indian states. At the same time, policies that mandate the blending of biofuels with oil creates even more damage that goes unaccounted.


When speaking of national accounting, in fact, our indicators fail to ignore the depreciation of soil assets and wrongly indicate an increase in economic growth, as fertilizers and pesticides are increasingly used, and the chemical sector experiences value addition. It is important, therefore, that we connect all of these dots and plug any loopholes in current economic thinking. I plan to use the TEEBAgriFood Framework to reflect a wider systems approach of these policies and agricultural practices, to illustrate their unintended impacts and hidden costs.

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Ingrid Heindorf World Future Council (WFC)

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