What’s Nature—Including Humans—Got to Offer?
Ecosystem services are such things as food, fuel, pollination, recycling wastes to form soil, and recreational opportunities—the services nature provides to humans. Scientists first offered the notion of ecosystem services in the early 1980s, in the hopes that once people understood the economic importance of nature, they would value nature and support conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. A controversy arose however about the ethics and wisdom of valuing nature for its monetary rather than its intrinsic value. Civic ecology practices can produce ecosystem services through creating green infrastructure (e.g., community gardens) that provide food and retain water that might otherwise run off carrying contaminants into rivers. Because for many people, engaging in civic ecology practices is also a form of recreation and education (so called “cultural ecosystem services”), civic ecology practices themselves can be considered as ecosystem services.
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Satoyama, Dragonfly pond, Japan, Urban ecosystem services, Provisioning ecosystem services, Regulating ecosystem services, Supporting ecosystem services, Cultural ecosystem services
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