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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update.

Sustainable Ecosystems


The Ecosystem Economics Team contains a mixture of environmental economists, climate change and rural sustainability researchers.

Our work is concerned with socio-economic and ecological evaluations of environmental change, both nationally and across the globe. It applies to a wide range of terrestrial and marine habitats and related ecosystem services.

Much of our work is concerned with quantifying environmental impacts (life-cycle analysis), economic impact assessments of (policy) decisions (cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis) and improving our understanding of the choices and behaviours that people make in relation to the environment.

Our activities are influenced by the need to implement national and global action on the ground to address a wide range of environmental concerns. These include issues such as identifying ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to halt the decline of biodiversity, to ensure that water bodies achieve good ecological status, to protect the marine environment and to understand the attitudes and perceptions of these issues among rural and urban communities.

Team Blog


The Sustainable Ecosystems Team now have a blog to highlight research outputs, project news and recent developments.

Measuring what matters in Agriculture and Food systems

The TEEB for Agriculture and Food report is being launched to coincide with World Environment Day. Key messages and synthesis reports are available here

TEEB Scientific and Economic Foundations Report

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEB AgriFood) report aims to develop an understanding of the wider economic, social and environmental impacts of the global food system, from farm to plate. Too often these aspects are considered in isolation resulting in a range of hidden costs and benefits that are not reflected in the decisions across the food chain. TEEB AgriFood highlights these hidden impacts and has developed an integrated framework for evaluation.

The Framework has three guiding principles – universality, comprehensiveness and inclusion.

It is ‘universal’ as it can be used in any geographical, ecological or social context, at the level of society, the firm, or the individual.

The Framework is ‘comprehensive’ in that it does not ignore any significant impacts of the food system, or any material dependencies, no matter whether they are economically visible or invisible. This comprehensiveness refers to the entire value chain, and to all significant outcomes and impacts within an agri-food system.

It has ‘inclusion’ as it supports multiple approaches to assessment. Although its ‘accounting based’ nature directly supports economic analysis including valuation of impacts on human well-being, this may not be possible or appropriate for all aspects of human well-being.

Dr Klaus Glenk

Ecosystem Economics Team Leader

Address: Land Economy & Environment, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4176