Valuation of biodiversity - on the modernization of economic reporting in Germany

Initial situation and research questions

Previous sustainability efforts, systems of protected areas, and biodiversity strategies have not led to a trend reversal of species and habitat loss. One major cause is the structural failure of economic reporting systems at both national and corporate level. Many ecosystem services and the importance of biodiversity usually play no or only a subordinate role. At the same time, the understanding of ecological interrelationships and thus the central role of biodiversity for intact ecosystems has grown. Politically, the “nature factor” is gaining in importance, both for social well-being and future prosperity. This is already being emphasized at international level by the UN, the EU Commission and even the World Bank. The question therefore arises: how can nature and its services be better integrated into economic reporting in order to preserve biodiversity?

Project approach and procedure

Project Bio-Mo-D, in cooperation with partners from industry (BASF and the Value Balancing Alliance), investigates how national and corporate economic reporting can be further developed to include ecosystem service and biodiversity indicators. Which values and indicators can be included as standard in corporate balance sheets and in national accounting systems or the national biodiversity strategy and are there further cooperative developments between the two levels? How are these values accepted by stakeholders and what can they achieve?

Project objectives and expected results

The project will contribute to the consideration of nature in accounting at state and corporate level. By modernizing economic reporting – especially in the direction of the SEEA-EA concept – a higher appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is to be achieved among political and economic decision-makers as well as social addressees in Germany. To this end, several inter- and transdisciplinary forums will be organized at which stakeholders can exchange information on methods, standards and political interfaces for the integration of physical and monetary values of nature. Above all, this information should have a legitimized steering effect in the direction of a transformation towards a more ecological economy.

Project lead: Karsten Grunewald
Karsten Grunewald is a senior scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Urban and Regional Development in Dresden. His professional expertise lies in geo- and landscape ecology, environmental and resource protection, and landscape change, among others.

Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung e.V.
Weberplatz 1
01217 Dresden

Das Projekt im Interview (content in German)

Projekt Bio-Mo-D im Interview: Über die Modernisierung der Wirtschaftsberichterstattung in Deutschland – Biodiversität wertschätzen!

Wer steht hinter dem Projekt Bio-Mo-D? Und was hat der Schutz von Biodiversität in Deutschland mit Wirtschaftsberichterstattung zu tun? Dr. Karsten Grunewald vom Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung (IÖR) Dresden ist Experte für Ökosystemleistungen und Ecosystem Accounting. Er koordiniert und leitet das Verbundprojekt. Gemeinsam mit Roland Zieschank vom Institut für Zukunftsforschung und Technologiebewertung (IZT) Berlin stehen sie Rede und Antwort.

Zum Interview mit FONA.