Ecosystem Services in EnviroAtlas
What are ecosystem services, and why are they important?
- Ecosystem goods and servicesEcosystem goods and servicesOutputs of ecological functions or processes that directly ("final ecosystem service" sensu Boyd & Banzhaff 2007) or indirectly ("intermediate ecosystem service") contribute to social welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Some outputs may be bought and sold, but most are not marketed. (modified from: U.S. EPA 2006), often shortened to ecosystem services (ES), are the benefits that humans receive from nature. These benefits underpin almost every aspect of human well-being, including our food and water, security, health, and economy.
- Many of the decisions we make, from how to develop community infrastructure, to managing the land surrounding our communities, impact the provision of ES.
- We are not always conscious of the links between our surrounding environment and our well-being, and thus we may not always take the true value of ecosystemecosystemAll living things and nonliving things in an area, as well as the interactions between them.s into account in our decision-making processes.
- Considering the true value of ES in our policies and decision-making could help us better manage our resources in a way that would benefit us economically, environmentally, and socially.
- Learn more about how ES are classified, measured, and valued.