did you say ecosystem services?

“Ecosystem services” has become an increasingly used concept in the academic world. One (of many) definitions is that ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Like the feature photo indicates, this can be the recreational benefits given to us by a lake, or it can be clean drinking water, healthy fish for dinner, insects that pollinate and thereby ensure the reproduction of plants, and many more services that we people probably take for granted. The concept of ecosystem services can be a means to value these services and thereby compare them to other services that are easier to value in monetary terms (electricity, timber, etc.).

In a new opinion brief named Ecosystem services: can the concept help policy and management?, Dr. Jan Vermaat at NMBU has ventured to discuss the pros and cons of the concept in a somewhat more personal manner. He concludes that the ecosystem service perspective, when used carefully, well-framed and well-documented, can be highly useful.

But do you agree?

Opinion briefs are a new concept of BIOWATER. They are aimed at informed stakeholders and scientists alike, and offer a basis for the discussion of important terms and aspects related to the introduction of bioeconomy and its impacts on waters and the society.

We look forward to any opinions that you may have on this issue (see our contact page for mail adresses!).

Feature photo: E. Skarbøvik.