Report on the conceptual framework of the ecosystem services approach for improved policy integration : Deliverable D6.2 BONUS MIRACLE project
The ecosystem services (ES) approach recognizes the complexity of ecosystems and that they provide a range of benefits to humans. These benefits are defined as products and services and include four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and habitat or supporting services. Most human endeavours directly or indirectly rely on ES and at the same time provide ES and/or generate negative impacts on the ecosystem, or disservices. In industrialized economies most human endeavours are based on specialization and maximizing productive efficiency. Over the last several decades, market forces land use and management policies, including agricultural policy have led agricultural practice and landscapes to be increasingly specialised in producing food and other provisioning services, such as fibre and fuel, often at the expense of other ES such as clean water (via nutrient and pesticide runoff), pollination services (loss of habitats and biodiversity) and soil carbon storage (soil fertility depletion and erosion) (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Power, 2010).
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