1325: Ecosystems – understanding

This paper summarises the fifth of the key questions addressed by the National Ecosystem Assessment, ‘What is the current public understanding of ecosystem services and the benefits they provide?’ It is taken from the ‘Synthesis of Key Findings’

Year of Publication2011

Ecosystem services are not a meaningful framework of interpretation of human-environment relations for the vast majority of people, although the term has gained traction in science and policy. Culturally the concepts which have most meaning are those of nature. And the public does appreciate the benefits of provisioning services, for example the supply of food and clean water, regulating services such as sequestration of carbon to mitigate climate change, and cultural services, including recreation and urban greenspace.

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