The winner of WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2013 on the theme Nature's services and Ingenious Solutions was the environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev togehter with the biomimicry expert Janine Benys.
People and society are entirely dependent on having access to clean water, food, energy, materials and waste processing systems. All these services are provided to us by the earth’s natural environment. They were developed over billions of years, but their real worth is seldom acknowledged. Nature also has a fantastic ability to adapt to change and design ingenious solutions, something that we can learn a lot from. The theme links these aspects of humans’ relationship with nature. “Nature’s services and ingenious solutions” is about understanding, valuing and taking inspiration from nature.
Pavan Sukhdev has brought into focus the enormous, elusive values represented by the global ecosystem and biodiversity. He has done this, in part, as leader of the groundbreaking study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). By promoting a wider perspective that goes beyond the monetary values of the ecosystem to include more elusive aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and recreational values, the work of Pavan and the TEEB group has aroused wide interest among decision-makers. For example, the TEEB provides a key source of reference to the UN in its efforts to get ecosystem services included in national accounts by 2018. The TEEB perspective has also played an important role at a national level as well as for individual organisations and businesses.
Pavan Sukhdev has a strong position in the international banking and finance sector and is a leading expert in biodiversity. He has promoted issues regarding the value of ecosystem services within the UN and EU, thus putting these issues on the international agenda.