Ecosystem protection

Investments in the sustainable use, protection and restoration of biodiversity and Natura 2000 bring direct or indirect socioeconomic benefits, including job creation. Several economic sectors (agriculture, forestry, agro-food, tourism) are dependent on the provision of a number of ecosystem services. Nature and ecosystem services also play an important role in controlling environmental risk factors such as climate change, floods and droughts. Investments in ecosystem protection can focus on:

  • knowledge gaps with respect to biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • national parks, nature parks, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves;
  • controlling invasive or non-native species;
  • reducing the impacts of land fragmentation and damage caused by grey infrastructure, and creating and/or maintaining ecological corridors;
  • green infrastructure projects aimed at connecting habitats;
  • green infrastructure and biodiversity projects in cities and agglomerations;
  • integrated spatial planning that enhances multiple ecosystem services;
  • innovative approaches and tests/pilots in payment for ecosystem services; and
  • innovation systems/models based on natural assets.


Tools and methodologies

  • Ecosystem Services Benchmark (ESB) (Natural Value Initiative). The aim is to enable institutional investors to better understand the risks and opportunities associated with the impacts and dependencies of the companies in which they invest in relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services.


  • Natural Capital Financing Facility: This LIFE financial instrument, managed by the EIB, was piloted during 2015. Priority areas include payments for ecosystem services; green infrastructure; innovative pro-biodiversity; and adaptation investments and biodiversity offsets.
  • European Business and Biodiversity (B@B) Platform: The platform provides an EU-level forum for sustained and strategic dialogue about the links between business and biodiversity. Through three separate thematic work streams, the platform delivers tangible results by working with businesses to develop tools and approaches that integrate biodiversity considerations into business practice.
  • Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN): This UNDP initiative supports governments in reviewing policies and institutions relevant for biodiversity finance, determining baseline investments and assessing the costs of implementing national biodiversity strategies and action plans. It helps to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in sectoral and development policy planning and budgeting; assesses future financing flows, needs and gaps for managing and conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services; and develops comprehensive national resource mobilisation strategies to meet the biodiversity finance gap.
  • Green Growth Knowledge Platform: This global network of international organisations and experts identifies and addresses major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice. By encouraging widespread collaboration and world-class research, the GGKP offers practitioners and policy makers the guidance, good practices, tools and data necessary to support the transition to a green economy. The GGKP covers a number of areas, including biodiversity.

Information platforms

Case studies