NATURE WORLDWIDE: ECOSYSTEMS

WORLD INSTITUTE FOR CONSERVATION & ENVIRONMENT, WICE

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ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

To the founding fathers of nature conservation, like John Muir in the USA and Jacque P. Thijsse in the Netherlands, nature was beautiful and a source of inspiration. Since then, conservationists have found it difficult to justify to politicians and the society at large, setting aside land just because they find in beautiful. 

Since the nineteen sixties, conservationists came with many social and economic reasons why it would be beneficial to set aside natural lands for conservation. They argued that nature would benefit society and that society could use nature in a variety of ways.

Grosso modo, they devided the types of use in:

bulletconsumptive use and
bulletnon-consumptive use.

Consumptive use would imply the removal of a part of the resource, but in such a way that at least some kind of interesting semi-natural ecosystem would remain. Forestry is the most commonly known consumptive use and others include grazing of arid regions and hunting and fishing.  

Of non-consumptive use, (eco-) tourism is very widely known, as well as watershed protection for a reservoir. Also carbon sequestration would be among the non-consumptive use category.

As time moved on, new words were invented, ecosystem services being one of them.

In natural ecosystems, ecosystem services that take part of the resource, obviously have a great impact on the exploited ecosystems, particularly in the case of forestry in ancient or virgin forests in the tropics. In semi-natural or cultural landscapes, the impact is far less, as the use of products of the ecosystems already has become part of that ecosystem in question. 

Another distinction that can be made is between direct and indirect benefits of ecosystem services. In the case of forestry, the direct benefits are very obvious, the forest produces wood, which can be used by the extractors for the construction of houses and furniture and fuel. In general forestry serves them as a source of employment. Indirectly, the availability of wood in a country may serve a wood-based industry, like paper, the production of plywood, furniture, etc. Such economic benefits are considered in indirect economic benefits. 

Other indirect benefits of ecosystem services may come from ecotourism. While ecotourism may generate very little income and employment near or in protected areas, they may create very substantial benefits for the tourism sector as a whole, as eco-tourists use hotels and restaurants elsewhere in the country, buy air tickets and use other transportation services, etc. 

One of the most commonly service associated with ecosystem services is the conservation of water and soil. However, this is highly overvalued, as only very few areas are directly used as watersheds for reservoirs or drinking water. 

In a broader scope, there are people who like to use the term ecosystem services in a very broad worldwide view. They see the conservation or sequestration of CO2 and water as a planet wide ecosystem services.

Probably the greatest problem with ecosystem services is that it is very difficult to attach the broader benefits to the areas that produce the benefits. In other words, the billions of people that harvest some kind of benefit from ecosystem services, simply never pay for those services

This page  is part of our web-book on Biodiversity Conservation. For organized reading go to our on-line Table of Content, or download our book in pdf format.

 

NATURE WORLDWIDE is the official website of the World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. It is an integrated network of web sites dealing with different topics on nature, nature conservation and natural resources management. Read here why we created Nature Worldwide. Our Methodology explains how we produced our information. Our Site Map helps you find your way in the website. We made this website out of passion for conservation. We spent our own salaries and free time to gather the information and publish it on these websites, in total valuing hundreds of thousands of dollars of professional time. Nobody pays us to do this. We simply want to contribute to conservation. If you appreciate our work, PLEASE visit our site Adopt A Ranger and see how you can make a difference for conservation most effectively: By paying one day of the salary of a ranger, you will make a difference in conserving the lives of thousands of birds, other critters and entire forests. Check our sitemap. Enjoy!

NATURE DU MONDE est le site Web officiel du World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, C'est une collection intégrée de sites web qui traitent avec des sujets différents sur nature, conservation de la nature et gestion des ressources naturelles. Lisez ici pourquoi nous avons créé Nature de Monde. Notre Methodologie explique comme nous avons produit nos renseignements. Notre Site Map vous aide trouver votre entrée dans le site web. Beaucoup de plaisir!

NATURALEZA DEL MUNDO es la página Web oficial del World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, Es una red de páginas Web tratando de temas diferentes relacionados a la naturaleza, la conservación el manejo de recursos naturales, parques nacionales y áreas protegidas. Lea aqui porqué hicimos Naturaleza del Mundo. Nuestra Methodología explica como produjimos la información. Nuestro Mapa del sitio le ayuda encontrar su información en nuestra página web. Disfrute! 

NATUREZA DO MUNDO é o Web site oficial do World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, Es uma red de páginas Web tratando de temas diferentes relacionados à natureza, la conservação el manejo de recursos naturaleiss, parques nacionais y áreas protegidas. Lea aqui porqué creamos Natureza do Mundo. Nossa Methodología explica como produjimos a informação. Nosso Mapa do sitio le ayuda encontrar sua informação no web site. Desfrute!

NATUR DER GANZEN WELT ist, die offiziellen Website der World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. Es ist ein einheitliches Netzwerk von Web Sites, über Themen wie Natur, Natur-Schutz und natürlichem Ressourcen Quellen Hege. Lesen Sie hier warum wir Natur der ganzen Welt gemacht haben. Unsere Verfahrensweise erklärt, wie wir unsere Informationen produziert würde. Unsere Site Map  hilft Ihnen Ihren Weg im Website zu finden. Viel Spaß!

NATUUR UIT ALLE STREKEN is, de officiële Website van het World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE. Het is een geïntegreerd Netwerk van websites, over Natuur, Natuurbescherming en het beheer van natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Lesen Sie hier warum wir Natuur uit alle Streken gemacht haben. Onze pagina Methode legt uit, hoe we onze informatie vergaarden. Onze Site Map helpt u op weg door onze website. 

WICE is a worldwide non-government non-profit organization that contributes to the conservation of nature. While it works on a many issues related to the conservation of nature and the protection of the environment, it is particularly committed to the conservation of national parks and other protected areas.

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