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Prospects for Mainstreaming Ecosystem Goods and Services in International Policies

Report | 04-08-2010
Photo of woman in red robe, walking to a blue water pool (or river)

This study shows how local delivery of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) is closely linked to international policies on development cooperation, trade, climate change and reform of international financial institutions. Integrating or mainstreaming EGS considerations into these policies provides significant opportunities to contribute to reducing poverty while simultaneously improving the quality of local EGS.

Integration of Ecosystem Goods and Services into international policies as opportunity to reduce poverty

Degradation of ecosystems worldwide threatens local and regional supplies of food, forest products and fresh water, and also biodiversity. Although most decisions that directly affect ecosystem management are made locally, these decisions are influenced by national and international policies. This study shows how local delivery of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) is closely linked to international policies on development cooperation, trade, climate change and reform of international financial institutions.

Integrating or mainstreaming EGS considerations into these policies provides significant opportunities for reducing poverty, while simultaneously improving the quality of local EGS. Furthermore, mainstreaming EGS in international policies can contribute significantly to achieving policy objectives on biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources.

Integration of EGS into international policies requires careful consideration

However, mainstreaming EGS requires careful consideration because many of the opportunities identified as reducing poverty, may have the opposite effect if poorly managed or implemented. A major challenge is, therefore, to ensure consistent policies across scales and policy domains based on analysis of the local situation. In order to support poverty reduction it matters how the mainstreaming is done and who benefits locally.

Tools to mainstream EGS into non-environmental policy domains are available, but there are few examples of their systematic application. Examples of tools that could play a constructive role in this process are the monitoring and reporting mechanisms developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Author(s)Kok, M.T.J. ; Tyler, S.R. ; Prins, A.G. ; Pinter, L. ; Baumuller, H. ; Bernstein , J. ; Tsioumani, E. ; Venema, H.D. ; Grosshans, R.
Report no.550050001
Publication date05-08-2010
Pages92
LanguageEnglish