Ecosystem Services are the benefits nature provides to human well-being. The term is frequently thrown around in academic circles, but why should you care about them? Although the term is quite new, our connection to nature is not. It can even act as a natural anti-depressant.
Why are ecosystem services important? Human welfare and well-being Ecosystems support human existence. For example, provisioning services provide food, water and wood. Regulating services partly determine the physical human environment, for example, through CO2 storage and water safety and security.
Cultural services largely contribute to human well-being through the beauty of nature and the identity that certain cultures derive from it. Furthermore, it is possible that the global decline in ecosystem services is playing a role in current crises, such as global warming, food security issues, flooding and drought events, desertification, poverty, conflict and migration.
Examples of ecosystem services in The Netherlands 2.
What policy is in place on ecosystem services? Focus on the benefits of nature Although there is no specific policy on ecosystem services, current policies are increasingly focusing on the importance and recovery of ecosystem services.
The Convention on Biological Diversity CBD includes targets to secure the provision of ecosystem services, in addition to its targets to preserve biodiversity. The Dutch Government has also developed new policy to promote the sustainable use of ecosystems; the main policy documents are the Dutch National Nature Vision and the Natural Capital Agenda in Dutch.
What changes are taking place in the supply and demand for ecosystem services? Decrease in the provision of certain ecosystem services The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded that 15 of the 24 ecosystem services included in the study were in decline on a global level.
Although much progress has been made in the last 50 years as far as welfare and economic development are concerned, this has been accompanied by damage to our natural capital.
Dutch society uses various ecosystem services. Research shows that there are no ecosystems in the Netherlands that meet all of the demand in that particular area.
Over the past 25 years, the gap between supply and demand has continued to grow, for many ecosystem services. For example, climate change has created a growing demand for water storage, coastal protection and carbon sequestration, while the supply of ecosystem services such as water, soil fertility and carbon sequestration have been declining.
In order to address such shortages, technical measures are being implemented, such as the construction of dykes. Another alternative to the use of local ecosystem products is that of importing them. Nevertheless, even with using imports, part of the demand cannot be met. What is causing the change?
More intensive land use Important reasons for the global decline in ecosystem services include changes in land use, climate change, overexploitation and pollution. These are indirectly affected by population growth, economic activities, technology and socio-political and cultural factors.
For example, in certain areas nature is being converted into agricultural land to feed the growing world population, and farming in existing agricultural areas is becoming more intensive.
These changes in food production are taking place at the expense of other ecosystem services, such as clean water provisioning, climate regulation and natural pest control. In the Netherlands, too, the intensification of agriculture is causing a decline in ecosystem services such as soil fertility and pest control.
The supply of clean water from ecosystems has declined, as water treatment plants have taken the place of natural purification systems.
What could policy do to preserve and develop ecosystem services? This policy could be developed further, first by specifying the underlying ambitions. For example, by creating spatial links between ambitions to increase agricultural sustainability and other societal themes, such as drinking water extraction, nature and recreation.
The government may support the realisation of such ambitions through innovation policy. In addition, solutions can be sought for ecosystem services that are not functioning optimally.
Examples of such solutions include restoration measures, technological alternatives that imitate an ecosystem service, or the importation of services from elsewhere.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity TEEB and Natural Capital Netherlands are examples of projects that presented ecosystem services and investigated options for their preservation and development.Ecosystem services are the suite of benefits that ecosystems provide to humanity.
Here we focus on two types of ecosystem the relative importance of these mechanisms and the conditions under which they operate. Consensus statement three Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity.
The utility value of an ecosystem is a particularly important factor regarding the importance of management and protection. Ecosystems prevent accumulation of waste, they help clean water and soil of pollutants, recycle vital chemical elements and conserve soil and water resources.
and social importance of biodiversity, it remains largely The importance of ecosystems and the ecosystem approach Delivering tangible benefits for people and nature by putting biodiversity at “ecosystem services” provided by nature for free. Such services.
Essay on Pollination, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services - The pollen is constituted by a multitude of microscopic granules contained in the pollen sacs of the anthers of flowers and has the appearance of a powder, coloured differently depending on the flower.
Ecosystem Services help measure the true cost of industrial development.
Often, the impact industrial development has on the economy and job creation overshadows the cost it will have on surrounding lakes, forests, keystone species, and so on.
An ecosystem is a group of organisms living together in a specific environment. Ecosystems are usually seen to be definite, discrete systems but they may be permeable to outside influences.
An ecosystem is a community of plants, animals, birds and other organisms as well as the vitamins and minerals and energy sources that keep them alive.