Chapter Two: Orchestrating Nature: Ethnographies of Nature Inc.
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In this chapter we combine the theoretical lens of virtualism with the empirical object of a new multilateral project (TEEB) and the physical site and instance of the COP10 to explore how processes of performance, orchestration, alignment, and articulation stitch together a dense weave of interests and actors in making real a vision of “nature” as capital. TEEB began as a study on the economics of biodiversity loss. While officially hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), TEEB’s working units, including a communications hub and a scientific coordination group, were located in Germany and financed by the European Commission, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Led by Pavan Sukhdev, the project’s goal was to produce a Stern Report for biodiversity.5 As it unfolded, TEEB linked and mobilized a group of actors focused on the pricing and costing of ecosystems and biodiversity, producing reports aimed at distinct bodies of decision makers and putting in place demonstration projects oriented around mechanisms to incorporate the productive value of ecosystems and biodiversity into national accounts.