Dr Florian Eppink

Florian Eppink studied economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and in 2007 received his doctorate degree there while working at the Institute for Environmental Studies. His thesis combined processes of biodiversity loss and change with classical theories of the economics of land use. These theories were applied to wetlands in general and wetland areas in the Netherlands specifically, which are under high pressure from agriculture and urban developments.

Afterwards, he became a Marie Curie Fellow at the Economics Department at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig (Germany) and developed a framework for applied cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for the conservation of endangered species. This framework was applied to the conservation of the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) in Germany. The habitat of the largest population is limited to the Mannheim area. In the early 2000’s, this region saw significant urban and industrial expansion. Urban planning was adjusted and several direct species conservation measures were implemented to protect the largest hamster population in Germany.

Since 2008, Florian has been involved in the scientific coordination of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) which was a study funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN – UNEP), the Directorate-General of the Environment of the European Commission (EC – DGEnv), and several national environment ministries. Florian helped guide the production of the report ‘Ecological and Economic Foundation’. This report covers the current state of knowledge on ecosystems and ecosystem services and pays particular attention to the uses as well as the difficulties of environmental economics, including monetary valuation techniques and the effect of the discount rate on intergenerational equity.

In 2009, he moved to the department of Computational Landscape Ecology to work on the scientific synthesis within the GLUES consortium. There he developed a research programme to develop quantifiable economic approaches to ecosystem services and studying the commensurability of local ecosystem service assessments.

Florian moved to Muscat (Sultanate of Oman) in 2011 and works there as a scientific consultant. He has completed economic valuation studies of regional ecosystems for the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, UNEP – Regional Office for West Asia and UNEP – Regional Office for Africa. He produced the West Asian section in the report to the CBD High Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. Furthermore, Florian acted as Resource Person (Valuation) at the CBD Regional Workshop for Middle East and North Africa on the Fifth National Report (December 2013, Doha, Qatar).

As of May 2014 Florian works at the Landcare Research Institute (Governance & Policy department) in Auckland (New Zealand) as Senior Economist. He continues his work on economic valuation of resources in the context of environmental policy and sustainable development in New Zealand and the Pacific.