Protecting ecosystems brings benefits to society

Benefits of ecosystem

The PRESS initiative recommends that new policies should be flexible in design and continuously monitored in order to be able to react and adapt to new circumstances, and that baseline levels and goals should be quantified in order to be able to measure progress. While the use of some ecosystem services can be seen as an economic activity, there are many other instances, which do not fall into this category, and discussions on ecosystem services are usually accompanied by only positive environmental connotations. The main contribution of this article is to highlight the complex dual positive and negative nature of the use of ecosystem services, in particular the importance of indirect effects of the use of ecosystem services, which has not been considered in impact assessments so far. Nature and money are often on competing terms, so to make a more level playing field, environmental economists have tried to bridge this gap by placing a monetary value on the benefits nature provides. Then, the framework is illustrated with a case study of birdwatching, linking the modern context of birdwatching with the direct and indirect aspects of ecosystem services use. Businesses can then communicate the benefits of this work to their stakeholders, adding value to brands, and in some cases directly increasing profitability, for example by reducing water treatment costs for water utilities. This study carried out case studies to help explore how such assessment methods might be developed at multiple spatial scales, in particular for pollination, recreation and water purification. These issues have already been discussed extensively within the sustainable consumption literature c.

Paying for peatlands I've been working with scientists, conservationists and members of the policy community over the past decade to understand the science behind the carbon, water and biodiversity benefits of paying to restore of one the UK's most important habitats for conservation: peatlands.

Of course, this still leaves the thorny question of who should pay.

Protecting ecosystems brings benefits to society

Such information is important to convince farmers to help manage and protect these habitats as they increase their agricultural output. Restoring damaged bogs not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions— it allows the bogs to capture greenhouse gases, while repairing habitats for internationally important wildlife and ensuring clean drinking water supplies.

Indirect effects may undermine the initial conservation objectives associated with the introduction of more environmentally friendly products or the supposedly environmentally friendly forms of ecosystem use. New proposals of the European Commission to green the Common Agricultural Policy and to restore wetland ecosystems are predicted to have positive effects on water purification services, thereby improving water quality and increasing the economic benefits to society.

why is it important to protect ecosystems

Become a GSB member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox Topics. The report prepared to describe these results outlines a strategy which aims to promote a better understanding of how ecosystems and biodiversity provide essential benefits to our society.

The mapping, assessment and valuation of ecosystem services are necessary but not sufficient steps in achieving the ecosystem services targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

A full version of the technical report will be published online in the coming days.

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Report for policy makers: Protecting ecosystems brings benefits to society