Current projects

Artesian windmill, Boulia, Western Queensland, WA, Australia

Current Projects

IUCN-Rio Tinto: Natural Capital Project

The IUCN-Rio Tinto Natural Capital Project attempts to identify and quantify biodiversity and ecosystem services values in key regions where Rio Tinto operates, in order to incorporate the value of ecosystem services into decision-making. 

Project Outputs:

  • Ecosystem valuation as part of a water management strategy in the Pilbara region, Western Australia. 2010-2011. Co- financed with RTIO. Project to assess and value the ecosystem impacts of dewatering in the mining industry. The aim is to develop a replicable analytical framework and decision support tool for RT to use throughout its dewatering operation globally. Scoping report drafted in 2011 (not in public domain). Phase 2 research currently underway, including choice modelling survey to estimate biodiversity benefits of rehabilitation of native bush.
  • Assessing the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by tropical forests in Madagascar – a desk study aiming to value in a TEV framework the benefits of conservation of tropical forests based on the quantification and valuation of key ecosystem services. 2009-2010. Published 2011.
    See: IUCN and Rio Tinto Technical Series No.1

Planted forest landscape, Brazil

Forest Landscape Restoration

Forest landscape restoration (FLR) brings people together to identify and put in place a mix of land-use practices that will help restore the functions of forests across a whole landscape. IUCN’s Global Economics Programme has been working closely with the Forest Programme to establish a first estimate of the global value of restoration in addition to establishing a research program on the economics of FLR. 

Greening the economy

Green Economy

The conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity is the foundation of a sustainable economy. Water, food, shelter and energy are the building blocks upon which life and economic systems are built. The resilience of the global economy is intricately linked to the state of the environment. Business also affects, and needs, biodiversity. Billions of people work in the private sector, and business is a key driver of social and economic development. A closer alignment of our economic and environment systems is an imperative that society can no longer afford to ignore. IUCN’s Global Economics Programme has been working hard to Green the World economy by encouraging governments to mainstream environmental values, invest in ecosystem services, and use nature based solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges.

Valuation of biodiversity credits

Ecosystem Valuation

Biodiversity and ecosystem services are often considered public goods, i.e. the costs of destroying or damaging ecosystems are passed on from the user to society. NGOs have therefore been pushing companies to value their environmental costs, but if these services were valued more consistently by businesses would this help make better management decisions for the environment, society and the companies themselves.

  • In 2011, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), a framework for improving corporate decision-making by enabling companies to consider the values of the ecosystem services they depend and impact upon. IUCN, World Resources Institute, ERM and PWC worked together to develop the guide.