Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Russian Federation – informing management principles and international processes

Problem outline

National TEEB studies and related processes are currently being carried out in numerous countries around the world. Russia’s policymakers have indicated the desire to implement TEEB (TEEB - The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) and to use the results to help improve nature conservation, in particular to develop national management principles for various ecosystem types (forests, bogs, urban ecosystems, coastal areas, etc.). Building on existing research activities and international experience, the Russian government is attempting to transfer new environmental and economic approaches, compensation mechanisms, etc. into planning measures and various applications based on scientific findings.

A first step in this direction has been achieved through the R&D project "Ecosystem services evaluation in Russia and other NIS countries of Northern Eurasia: first step"  (TEEBi-Russ, 2013-2016). Here, German and Russian scientific and non-governmental organisations, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Ministry of the Environment and Germany’s BMUB/BfN have joined forces in order to initiate and support the development of regional TEEB studies for Russia and other selected successor states of the former Soviet Union as required by the international TEEB study. The project has provided necessary impetus for the more precise identification and highlighting of the services and values of nature (e. g. BfN scripts 372 und 373).

This "mainstreaming" of biological diversity into various policy areas and decision-making levels has also become highly relevant to other international environmental policy processes, such as the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity 2011-2020 (Aichi Biodiversity Targets) of the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity). In addition, numerous activities within the context of TEEB can also be employed for the preparation of IPBES reports or, for example, to fulfil parts of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.


The aim of the project is to assess, describe and evaluate the current significance, values and potentials of biodiversity and ecosystem services of different types of ecosystems in Russia and to make these findings available to different target groups. Concrete results are intended to benefit nature conservation, in particular by helping to develop national management principles for various ecosystem types (forests, bogs, urban ecosystems, coastal areas, etc.). Furthermore, relevant international environmental and nature conservation policy processes are to be actively included at national level and, conversely, the results of the national TEEB process in Russia will be incorporated into international processes.

The project follows the principle of the TEEB initiative, a global effort to gather scientific evidence on the economic relevance of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as examples of good practice to ensure that biodiversity and ecosystem services are more closely incorporated into political, economic and social decision-making. Within the framework of the project outlined here, the particular goal is to protect and restore Russia’s ecosystems.


The core task of the project is to prepare a study to gather and assess data on biodiversity and ecosystem services, to consider options for mainstreaming in different policy areas as well as to consider how to integrate results into a system of environmental accounting. In addition to the study, a policy paper will be produced to discuss specific aspects of particular relevance for environmental and nature conservation policy. The target audience for this policy paper are political decision-makers, experts in the field and media representatives. Furthermore, a scientific article will be developed, written and published. Various measures such as specialist discussions, workshops, study visits, conference participation and a final conference will be used to identify and bring together existing initiatives and research programmes with a view to supporting the national TEEB process. Activities at the interface of science and politics as well as between international, national and sub-national actors will be coordinated in order to provide valuable impulses for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems in Russian environmental policy. Further measures (a closing conference, participation in external conferences) will ensure the active communication of project results into international and national processes.

In detail, the following aspects will be considered in order to ensure integration with environmental policy processes and scientific discourses as well as to gain the input of international experience and scientific expertise:

  1. Consideration and analysis of the impact of assessments in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services in international, European and national (including Russia, Germany) nature conservation regulations, processes, initiatives and practices;
  2. Creation of an overview of the core services of various ecosystems (forests, bogs, urban ecosystems, coastal areas, etc.), identification of particularly relevant ecosystem services for policy-makers and society as well as an analysis of selected examples of the identification and assessment of specific ecosystem services, especially in Russia;
  3. Testing and validation of previously suggested indicators for certain ecosystem services in Russia, Germany, Europe and around the world;
  4. Options for implementing results into sectoral Russian policies and support given to implementing Russia’s national biodiversity strategy; potentials for integrating biodiversity aspects into new management guidelines, planning instruments, compensation procedures using the ecosystem services approach;
  5. Utilization of project results in the context of reporting for IPBES and CBD; identification of challenges and further knowledge gaps regarding the identification, assessment and mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services, especially in Russia, but also in Europe and around the world.

Main products of TEEB Russia (2013-2020)

Basic brochures

Grunewald, K., Bastian, O., Drozdov, A. (Eds.) (2014): TEEB-Prozesse und Ökosystem-Assessment in Deutschland, Russland und weiteren Staaten des nördlichen Eurasiens (TEEB процессы и экосистемные оценки в Германии, России и в некоторых других странах Северной Евразии). BfN-Skripten 372, Bonn, 372 S. 

Grunewald, K., Bastian, O., Drozdov, A., Grabowsky, V. (Eds.) (2014): Erfassung und Bewertung von Ökosystemdienstleistungen (ÖSD) - Erfahrungen, insbesondere aus Deutschland und Russland (Учет и оценка экосистемных услуг (ЭУ) - Опыт, особенно Германии и России). BfN-Skripten 373, Bonn, 371 S.

Main scientific project reports

Bukvareva, E.N., Zamolodchikov, D.G. (Eds.) (2018): Ecosystem services of Russia: Prototype National Report. Vol. 1. Terrestrial ecosystems services. Adapted English version of the report, originally published in Russian in 2016. Moscow: BCC Press. 

Bukvareva, E. N., Sviridova, T. V. (Eds.) (2020): Ecosystem services of Russia: Prototype National Report. Vol. 2. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Accounting Principles in Russia. English version of the report, published originally in Russian in 2020. Moscow: BCC Press. 

Policy papers / Summaries for decision-makers

TEEB Russia 1: Policy Brief (2016) (in Russian / in English)

TEEB Russia 2: Policy Brief (2020): (in Russian / in English)

Scientific papers

Grunewald, K., Bastian, O., Schmauder, H. (2014): Initialisierung eines deutsch-russischen TEEB-Prozesses. Natur und Landschaft, 89. Jg. Heft 2, S. 88-89

Bastian, O., Grunewald, K., Khoroshev, A.V. (2015): The significance of geosystem and landscape concepts for the assessment of ecosystem services – exemplified in a case study in Russia. Landscape Ecology. Volume 30, Issue 7: 1145-1164.

Bukvareva, E.N., Grunewald, K., Bobylev, S.N., Zamolodchikov, D.G., Zimenko, A.V., Bastian, O. (2015): The current state of knowledge of ecosystems and ecosystem services in Russia. A status report. AMBIO 44(6): 491-507.

Grunewald, K., Bastian, O., Bukvareva, E.N., Zimenko, A.V., Grabovsky, V.I., Schmauder, H. (2016): Erfassung und Bewertung der Ökosystemleistungen Russlands: ein Status-quo Bericht. Natur und Landschaft 91(4): 170-178.

Bukvareva, E., Zamolodchikov, D., Kraev, G., Grunewald, K., Narykov, A. (2017): Supplied, demanded and consumed ecosystem services: Prospects for national assessment in Russia. Ecological Indicators 78: 351-360.

Bukvareva, E.N.; Zamolodchikov, D.G.; Grunewald, K. (2019): National assessment of ecosystem services in Russia: Methodology and main problems. Science of the Total Environment 655, S. 1181-1196.

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.