TEEB for Agriculture & Food

What is “TEEBAgriFood”?

TEEB for Agriculture & Food (‘TEEBAgriFood’) is a study that will provide guidance and illustrations for comprehensive evaluations (i.e. including of the most significant externalities) of ‘eco-agri-food systems’*, whilst demonstrating that the economic environment in which farmers operate is distorted by significant externalities, both negative and positive, and a lack of awareness of our dependency on nature.

TEEBAgriFood is hosted by UN Environment, funded primarily by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and other institutional and government donors. It is led by an independent Study Leader, and governed by a Project Steering Committee comprising senior experts across agriculture, food, health and ecosystem economics.

What is the Purpose of TEEBAgriFood?

TEEBAgriFood will bring together scientists, economists, policymakers, business leaders, and farmers organizations in order to agree how to frame, undertake and use holistic evaluations of agricultural systems, practices, products, policy scenarios against a comprehensive range of impacts and dependencies across food value chains. It makes and illustrates the case for “systems thinking” instead of “silo thinking” when evaluating eco-agri-food systems.

Is TEEBAgriFood an Assessment?

It is not one single universal economic valuation or assessment – rather, it sets context, and provides a comprehensive and universal framework, illustrated with attendant methodologies, key applications, and examples – to guide analysis and to better inform policy makers, farmers, agri- businesses and consumers.

What is the “eco-agri-food systems” complex?

The eco-agri-food systems complex is a collective term encompassing the vast and interacting complex of ecosystems, agricultural lands, pastures, inland fisheries, labor, infrastructure, technology, policies, culture, traditions, and institutions (including markets) that are variously involved in growing, processing, distributing and consuming food.

The diagram below, which focuses on the production phase of the value chain, illustrates a few examples of the economic interactions (many of which are economically “invisible”) between these systems, while exploring how biodiversity and key ecosystem services deliver benefits to the agriculture sector and also beyond, itself being a key contributor to human health, livelihoods and well-being.

What does the TEEBAgriFood “Foundations” report intend to do?

The TEEBAgriFood ‘Scientific and Economic Foundations’ Report will address the core theoretical issues and controversies underpinning the evaluation of the nexus between the agri-food sector, biodiversity and ecosystem services and externalities including human health impacts from agriculture on a global scale. In essence it seeks to set the theoretical context for the evaluation of these systems policy implementation.

What is the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework?

The TEEBAgriFood evaluation framework is a set of definitions and descriptions supporting a framework of analysis that can enable us to answer the question “what should we value?” The framework ensures that nothing important is missed, and that the full range of impacts and dependencies (including externalities) from eco-agri-food systems can be individually examined and collectively evaluated for the application in question, be it a typology comparison, a policy evaluation, a business question or an accounting question.

*‘Eco-agri-food systems’ is a collective term for the vast and interacting complex of ecosystems, agricultural lands, pastures, fisheries, labor, infrastructure, technology, policies, culture, traditions, and institutions (including markets) that are variously involved in growing, processing, distributing and consuming food.