ecosystem services Africa

Valuing biodiversity to restore resilient landscapes



  • Ecosystem services include the regulation of water abundance and quality, the formation of nutrient-rich soils, and the dispersal of seeds and pollen.
  • Africa has especially rich and diverse ecosystems which provide services that are essential in securing the continent’s food, water, energy health, and secure livelihood needs. In rural areas of the continent, more than 62 percent of the population depends directly on these services.
  • Ecosystem restoration reveals a conflict between the economic and ecological aspects of restoration. Dependence on timber production can lead to a preference for fast-growing and economically valuable tree species, which often are non-native and therefore do not support local biodiversity.
  • Globally, biodiversity and its value need to be integrated into economic and financial decision-making. We need to replace current economic measurements such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the inclusive valuation of biodiversity and its natural capital accounting and valuation of ecosystem services.


The transformative potential of policy instruments


In order to enable policymakers to integrate biodiversity’s values into decision-making, the latest Value Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES 2022) developed a novel and comprehensive typology which presents four general perspectives:


  1. Living from nature – emphasizes nature’s capacity to provide resources for sustaining livelihoods.
  2. Living with nature – the importance of places as settings of people’s lives.
  3. Living in nature – valuing nature’s life-supporting processes in connection with other humans.
  4. Living as nature – people may see themselves as part of nature.


Furthermore, the report also identifies the reformation of policies and regulations to internalize nature’s values as one of the four value-centered leverage points for transformative change and assesses the transformative potential of selected environmental policy instruments.


Learn more about Ecosystem Restoration for People, Nature and Climate 🌳

Author: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Publisher: Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)

Language: English

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Oceans and Coasts

Location(s): Africa

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