Launched on 6th December, this new interim report from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) presents evidence from four studies that identify policy options to support more sustainable practices in agriculture. 

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TEEB for Agriculture and Food is an initiative that is bringing together economists, business leaders, agriculturalists and experts in biodiversity and ecosystem services with the aim of reviewing the economic interdependencies between agriculture and natural ecosystems. Our food systems provide us with many invisible benefits, such as pollination, pest control and soil creation. However, there are also costs associated with certain agricultural practices such as soil erosion and species reduction. TEEBAgFood is aiming to make both these costs and benefits visible. In this first phase, the report introduces the key questions, issues and arguments to be addressed.

The studies in the report focus on sectors including livestock, rice, agroforestry, inland fisheries and palm oil, which are known to have high external costs that are not factored into the price we see on the shelves.

Finally, the report examines the way forward for this study by identifying economic and policy drivers and incentives that influence land-use decisions and management techniques within production systems around the world.

Read the report here and find out more about the initiative by visiting www.teebweb.org.

Photograph: Matthias Ripp

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