OpenFields

1310: Ecosystem assessment - wellbeing

This paper summarises the third of the key questions addressed by the National Ecosystem Assessment ‘How do ecosystem services affect human well-being, who and where are the beneficiaries, and how does this affect how they are valued and managed?’ It is taken from the ‘Synthesis of Key Findings’

Year of Publication2011

Society benefits from provisioning, regulating and cultural services. Ecosystems influence both physical and mental health and the quality of life. The evidence base linking changes in ecosystems to human well-being is incomplete, and tends to be biased towards assessments based on economic value. The distribution of beneficiaries of ecosystem services is not evenly spread. For example, carbon sequestration in woodlands benefits society at large, while access to woodlands for recreation and leisure primarily benefits those in close proximity or with transport access. Loss of urban green space has often impacted most severely on lower income households.

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