Recommended tools for understanding and valuing biodiversity

Conservation & Biodiversity

Sustaining Life on Earth – CBD
Introduction to the concept of biodiversity and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). For the current CBD biodiversity targets, see For the biodiversity-related conventions, see

World Conservation Strategy – IUCN with FAO, UNEP, UNESCO & WWF (note: a large file)
Provides both an intellectual framework and practical guidance for the conservation actions necessary to come to terms with the reality of resource limitation, the carrying capacities of ecosystems, and of the needs of future generations. Also available in HTML online

A to Z Areas of Biodiversity Importance – UNEP-WCMC
The A to Z guide is an online resource to provide clear, concise and relevant information about various important areas for biodiversity conservation ranging from World Heritage Sites to Key Biodiversity Areas, which can be used by all sectors including business, government and environmental agencies.

Conservation Values

Investors and other stakeholders may be interested in identifying and estimating the multiple values or returns being generated by a VCA. For example, COMMONLAND, a VCA partner, recommends that conservation area managers can focus on four returns:

Return of inspiration – Giving people hope, a positive future outlook and meaningfulness.
Return of social capital – Bringing back jobs and business activity, education, social services and security.
Return of natural capital – Restoring biodiversity, topsoil and hydrology, clearing invasive species, decreasing erosion and increasing carbon absorption.
Return of financial capital – Realizing long-term, sustainable profit with a balanced risk/return profile.

TEEB Ecological and Economic Foundations – TEEB
A draft version of the TEEB report on the fundamental concepts and state-of-the-art methodologies for economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Also see:

Common Guidance for Identification of High Conservation Values – HCV Resource Network
A good practice guide for identifying HCVs across different ecosystems and production systems.

An Exploration of Tools and Methodologies for Valuation of Biodiversity and Biodiversity Resources and Functions – CBD
An overview prepared by the CBD Secretariat for CBD Parties and other stakeholders.