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Emerging Issues – Ecosystem Services

2011: The natural economy provides us with many natural ‘goods and services’, but most are not considered in economic valuations, says a new paper released by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

In its “Ecosystem Services” paper the Royal Society describes how ecosystem services or processes benefit human wellbeing and the need to include these in economic decision-making. It says when these ecosystem services are not recognised in the marketplace, it leads to decision-making failures.

Examples of ecosystems services are forests reducing soil erosion, shellfish filtering water pollution, unfarmed areas improving natural pest control on nearby farmland, and ecosystems providing recreation and cultural value.

The Society organised an “Ecosystem Services in Policy” workshop on the 9th of August, 2011 to further explore how to implement ecosystem services thinking in a policy context. Presentations from the workshop can be found at the workshop page.

Download the full paper here

Listen to the Science Media Centre Briefing here

Read our Media Release here