Environmental Services

Environmental services is a concept from the ecological economics literature. A well-known definition of environmental services is “any functional attribute of natural ecosystems that are demonstrably beneficial to humankind.” The concept basically tries to capture in broad terms the idea that the natural environment provides particular important uses or benefits that can be captured under the concept of “services.” As such, it aims to frame the interdependence of humans and nature in ways attuned to mainstream economic discourse and as a logical “asset” to take into account in business and private sector decisions. This article gives a very general overview of the concept of environmental services, placing particular importance on its history, its current importance, and some of the arguments for and against the use ...

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