The Handbook of Environment and Society focuses on the interactions between people, societies and economies, and the state of nature and the environment. Editorially integrated but written from multi-disciplinary perspectives, The Handbook of Environment and Society is organised in seven sections: - Environmental thought: past and present - Valuing the environment - Knowledges and knowing - Political economy of environmental change - Environmental technologies - Redesigning natures - Institutions and policies for influencing the environment Key themes include: locations where the environment-society relation is most acute: where, for example, there are few natural resources or where industrialization is unregulated; the discussion of these issues at different scales: local, regional, national, and global; the cost of damage to resources; and the relation between principal actors in the environment-society nexus. Aimed at an international audience of academics, research students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers, The Handbook on Environment and Society presents readers in social science and natural science with a manual of the past, present and future of environment-society links.

Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services

Economic valuation of ecosystem services


When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. (Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac, 1746).

On an ever more crowded planet, the challenges of maintaining healthy ecosystems seem ever more complex. More and more natural ecosystems have been dramatically altered by the activities of humans through their development, manufacturing, and consumption activities. While there is cause for concern about the declining health of ecosystems, there is also an emerging recognition that natural ecosystems make significant contributions to economic and human well-being (Heal, 2000). Or, in a term increasingly used by economists as well as environmental scientists, nature provides important “ecosystem services.”

In Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems, Gretchen Daily (1997) defines ecosystem services as ...

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