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The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Brazil’s Northeastern Biodiversity Corridor


Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is one of the world’s’ main hotspots, due to its great and unique biodiversity, which is being increasingly threatened by human pressure. Concerned with this present crisis, environmental ministers from G8+5 countries (Brazil among the 5 emerging economies), agreed since 2007 to begin a process to analyze the global benefits of biodiversity and the costs of its loss. As a result, an international study was made to gather knowledge from various disciplines: science, economy and politics, in order to come up with actions that can promote sustainable development. This study, known as TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), is intended to create awareness about the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services and guide the response of policy makers, businesses and the civil society.

TEEB's principles and methods can contribute to the definition and implementation of new policies that can make possible the adoption of good environmental practices and the incorporation of environmental costs in production and decision-making processes. For this reason, it is of great importance to promote the TEEB approach and train practitioners and decision makers to complement the knowledge acquired from previous PES courses.Thus, the main objective of this course is to sensitize and train private and public managers within Brazil's Northeastern Corridor in the use of economic tools and strategic thinking, as well as in adapting environmental actions in economic activities that can help conserve biodiversity and the services the Atlantic Forest ecosystem provides.


Module 1. Conservation of Tropical Forests and their Services in Fragmented Landscapes: Recognizing the Region and the Value of Biodiversity

  • Case study #1: The Northeast Biodiversity Corridor
  • Leveling of concepts: ecosystems, ecosystem functions and biodiversity
  • Importance of biodiversity for human well-being (benefits and values)
  • Relation of dependence between economy and services and natural resources
  • TEEB: Why TEEB? The TEEB approach
  • Case study #2: Alterations in the agricultural scene of the Northeast due to climate change

Module 2. Demonstrate the Economic Value of Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Integrating the Ecological and Economic Dimensions

  • Environmental economics: leveling basic economic concepts
  • It is possible to value biodiversity and ecosystem services: why do we value, types of values (economic, social, ecologic, cultural), and how are conventional services valued
  • Valuation of ecosystem services (valuing paradigms) and valuation tools
  • Introduction to mechanisms that incorporate the value of biodiversity into decision making
  • Activity #1: Describe an ecosystem, a sevice, the value, and the valuation tool for individual or group project, and reflect on how the contents seen thus far would be applied in that context

Module 3. Environmental Compliance for Enterprises: Incorporating Environmental Services in the Management of Natural Resources (agriculture and forestry)

  • Environmental Compliance Program
  • Defining priority criteria for conservation: micro watershed (protecting springs), native forest connectivity, characteristics of native forest degradation
  • Environmental legislation applied to environmental compliance in agricultural landscapes
  • Field trip #1: Visit to environmental compliance project – Suape Industrial Port Complex
  • Monitoring protocols: Why are they important?
  • Case study #3: Monitoring protocol for the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact

Module 4. Capturing the Value of Biodiversity at a Local and Regional Levels

  • Economic instruments for enviromental managment: Brazil's Ecologic ICMS (tax on sale of goods and services)
  • Case study #4: PES Project -Dois Irmãos State Park
  • Field trip #2: Dois Irmãos State Park. Individual observation activity
  • Monitoring protocol for the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact

Module 5. Proposing Solutions for Enhance the Management of Natural Capital

  • Why are companies interested in biodiversity? Which industries are most responsible for and/or vulnerable to biodiversity loss?
  • Business opportunities related to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration
  • Activity #2: Groupwork applying the TEEB’s approach
  • Group work presentation

Evaluation and course closing